The Irish Times newspaper are currently battling Rupert Murdoch and Times Newpapers London (TNL) to prevent the use of “The Times Irish edition” as they say it infringes their trade mark.
The Irish Times are battling strongly against the use of this phrase as they state it is confusingly similar to their trade mark and they are entitled to protect their brand. They believe that customers will confuse the papers and it could create a detriment to the publication.
Times Newspapers, owned by Rupert Murdoch, argues that they have the legal right to use the phrase as it merely a description of the product and is there to inform potential customers. They therefore claim that they have not infringed any trade marks owned by The Irsh Times.
The Irish Times are seeking a restraining order to prevent any use of the phrase in their digital publication whereas Times Newspapers London are keen to settle out of court. They proposed a name change, which replaced ‘Irish’ with ‘ROI’, but the claimants did not accept this as they felt their case against the use goes much further than just the title.
The case continued to a hearing where the judge, Mr Justice John Hedigan has dismissed the use of ROI as a name for the country as its proper title is Ireland or Èire. This seems to be in favour of the claimant but the hearng continues.