Cost orders against ‘Irish Times’ stayed pending full action

‘The Irish Times’ had sought injunctions arising from planned launch of digital publication

The High Court has made orders requiring The Irish Times pay the legal costs of its failed bid for injunctions restraining the publishers of The Times of London using the words "The Times Irish Edition" in promoting a new digital Irish edition of the UK newspaper.

A stay on the costs order applies pending the outcome of the full proceedings between the sides.

The Irish Times Ltd (TITL) had sought various injunctions, pending the outcome of a full hearing, arising from the planned launch of the new digital publication, to be sold as part of a subscription package with the Sunday Times.

Among the injunctions sought were orders restraining Times Newspapers Ltd (TNL) promoting the digital publication using the words "The Times Irish Edition" or any other title confusingly similar to The Irish Times.

TNL, publisher of The Times, denied the use of the words "The Times Irish Edition" runs the risk of creating confusion with The Irish Times or that the plaintiff had any case for infringement of its trademarks. The UK publisher also argued "inordinate" delay by The Irish Times in bringing its application disentitled it to the injunctions.

In his judgment on Monday, Mr Justice John Hedigan ruled the injunctions should be refused on grounds of delay in seeking them.

When the matter returned before the judge on Wednesday, Paul Gallagher SC, for TNL, applied for his costs while Jonathan Newman SC, for TITL, argued the costs matter should be decided at the end of the full proceedings.

Mr Justice Hedigan accepted arguments TNL was entitled to costs on grounds including that the discrete issue of delay, on which the court had found in favour of TNL, would not feature in the full hearing.

He granted Mr Newman’s application for a stay on the costs order pending the outcome of the full case.