The High Court has refused an application by the Irish Times for injunctions restraining the Times of London from using the words "The Times Irish Edition" in its forthcoming digital Irish edition of the newspaper. The new digital publication will be sold as a part of a subscription package with the Sunday Times and will be solely available digitally. The Irish Times had sought an injunction preventing Times Newspapers Limited (TNL) from using the "The Times Irish Edition" or any other title which may be confusingly similar to The Irish Times. TNL denied that the phrase would create any confusion due to the co-existence of the two publications in Ireland for 150 years as well as the fact that it was common knowledge that they intended to launch an Irish edition.
In his judgment Mr Justice Hedigan ruled that the injunctions sought should be refused due to the Irish Times’ delay in seeking them. He was satisfied that the decision to launch an Irish edition of the London Times was "common knowledge" amongst Irish journalists since September 2014 and so would not be a source of confusion. TNL had exhibited a number of tweets from Irish journalists to this effect, including some circulated through the Irish Times. He was also satisfied that the intended publication could not be launched without identifying itself as an Irish edition and that it would have been "highly improbable" that the new publication would call itself the Times of London. He also referred to the costly and complex preparation which the defendants had undertaken for the launch.
Mr Justice Hedigan was satisfied that The Irish Times had not sought relief with "reasonable expedition" and so did not grant temporary injunctions in advance of a full hearing of the dispute later this year. Due to this delay he did not need to consider whether or not The Irish Times had an arguable case, whether or not damages would be an adequate remedy or where the balance of convenience lay. He adjourned a decision on liability for costs of the application to Wednesday, 29 July.