Ryanair injunction over use of images refused
THE HIGH Court has refused to grant Ryanair an injunction preventing the Irish Airline Pilots Association (IALPA) using images of either its aircraft or fuselage on the IALPA website.
The airline had alleged the use of such images suggested Ryanair recognises IALPA as a representative body when it does not.
Ryanair had sought an injunction, pending the outcome of the full action against IALPA over the matter, restraining IALPA using any images containing Ryanair trademarks on the IALPA website, on business papers or on advertising anywhere in the EU.
It also sought orders restraining IALPA allegedly passing off any association with Ryanair.
In opposing the application, IALPA, a branch of the trade union Impact, contended it used the images to show how many of its members work for Ryanair.
It denied the image use suggested IALPA has been recognised by or is connected in any way with Ryanair or that Ryanair’s business reputation had been damaged.
Ruling on the matter yesterday, Mr Justice Roderick Murphy said the court had to consider whether the use of the trademark was an attempt to gain unfair advantage.
He said common sense would seem to suggest that the primary purpose of the reproduction of the trademark was to identify the employers of IALPA’s members and not to take unfair advantage of Ryanair’s trademark.
The court heard IALPA previously put images of Ryanair aircraft on its website but removed them following correspondence from Ryanair’s solicitors.
However, the court heard that late last year, when Ryanair noticed an image of one of its aircraft on the website, it wrote to the association asking that the image be removed but IALPA refused.
Mr Justice Murphy said it seemed previous uses of the trademark by IALPA in 2006 and 2010 were not withdrawn unreservedly on each occasion. He found IALPA had not on each occasion agreed to discontinue what it regarded as a lawful indirect use of the applicant’s trademark.
Mr Justice Murphy said the court was satisfied a three-month delay between uploading an image and an initial letter of complaint from Ryanair was not adequately explained. He said the court would refuse the application and he would provide a written judgment later this month.