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High Court decision clears the UK Times to launch its Irish edition (finally)

Times Newspapers London today won a ruling in the High Court against the Irish Times which says they are entitled to launch an Irish edition of their UK brand.

BRITAIN’S TIMES NEWSPAPERS London Ltd have been granted approval at the High Court today to launch the Irish edition of their daily The Times title.

The new The Times (Irish Edition) will be launched sometime in the near future. It will be digital-only and will create employment for 30 journalists in Ireland.

It will follow the same format as the digital edition of the UK newspaper.

Last week, the Irish Times applied for an injunction against the UK newspaper group to prevent them from publishing anything that could be titled ‘The Times – Irish Edition’ on the grounds that it would infringe its trademark, confuse customers and damage its brand.

Times Newspapers countered that the application should be dismissed because there had been a delay of nine months in making the objection.

In his judgement today Judge John Hedigan stated that the Irish Times had not moved with “the reasonable expedition required” of a party seeking an interlocutory injunction and was therefore refusing same.

He further stated that the news that an Irish version of the UK Times was on the way had been common knowledge in journalistic circles since at least September 2014.

He said the the two parties had “co-existed peacefully” for 150 years, and that the Irish Times being called as such originally was a reflection of “the sincerest form of flattery” towards the UK Times – it being the inspiration for the name in the first place.

richie Richard Oakley

Richard Oakley, editor of the Irish edition of The Times who has been working on the new edition since January, has declared himself “delighted” with today’s decision by Judge John Hedigan at the High Court.

“We are delighted that we have been successful in resisting The Irish Times’ application for an injunction to prevent us launching an Irish edition of The Times,” he said in a statement.

We have rigorously defended our position and will now proceed to launch a 7-day digital newspaper of The Times and The Sunday Times for the Irish market.
There is a clear gap in the Irish market for an exciting and innovative digital newspaper and we look forward to launching in the coming weeks.

The Irish Times had gained an injunction in May against the Times Newspapers from launching in Ireland under the brand name “The Times Ireland”, something TNL had given their commitment not to do.

Today’s judgement is independent of that decision.

Oakley spoke to TheJournal.ie today regarding what the new online publication will look like.

It will be an Irish edition of The Times, and it will run 7-days-a-week, incorporating the Sunday Times each weekend.
We’ll have 30 journalists based in Dublin, but we can also call on the 200 journalists working for The Times in London, and 36 foreign correspondents based around the world.

The new edition will apparently follow the format of The Times’s UK tablet application, which Oakley describes as “world-leading”.

The 30 journalist positions will be split between full-time, casual and freelance workers.

Some of the section editors who have signed up for the new online publication include Niamh Lyons, political editor (ex-Daily Mail), and Gary Doyle, formerly News of the World, who will head up the sports desk.

“We’re just so happy – the company has put a huge investment into this, and we’ve been a long time working on it,” said Oakley.

Read: Times Newspapers have backed down in their legal row with the Irish Times

Read: James Reilly wins defamation action against Irish Mail on Sunday, receives full apology

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