Media 10

IHSM14 0099

Media 10 win legal battle over use of the Ideal Home name

Media 10 Limited, the independent, privately-owned company which owns the "IDEAL HOME SHOW" brand, has successfully defended legal proceedings brought by Time Inc. UK, (formerly IPC Media) the publisher of Ideal Home (the magazine) and has won the right to extend its business under the "IDEAL HOME" name beyond just shows. This means that Time Inc. UK will have to share the rights to the IDEAL HOME name.

The claim was brought to the Intellectual Property & Enterprise Court by Time Inc. UK two years ago to try to prevent Media 10 from using the words IDEAL HOME in connection with its online shop, claiming that this usage infringed Time Inc. UK's exclusive trade mark rights in the IDEAL HOME name.

Media 10's lawyers successfully argued that since the 1920s, the IDEAL HOME name in the home interest field has indicated either the business of the show or that of the magazine, depending on the context in which the name was used. Based on this argument, the judge concluded that any confusion occurring from Media 10's use of IDEAL HOME for online retailing is no more than is to be expected as a result of the long concurrent use of the name.

After losing the initial battle in 2012, Time Inc. UK appealed the decision in January 2014, claiming that the judge had made mistakes in his assessment of infringement. Media 10 contested the appeal, arguing that the judge had correctly decided that the magazine's rights had not been infringed.

The case was heard on October 13th 2014 in the Court of Appeal before three appeal judges, including a renowned specialist in IP law, and they have confirmed the first judge's decision –that Time Inc. UK cannot prevent Media 10 using the IDEAL HOME name for its online shop.

Mr Newton, Chief Executive of Media 10 said that he was delighted that the case had been decided in Media 10's favour as it meant that not only were Media 10 vindicated in their use of the name in connection with the online shop, it meant that the company would not be prevented from continuing to exploit the success of the IDEAL HOME brand. He commented "The Court have recognised that Media 10 have rights in the IDEAL HOME name as well as in IDEAL HOME SHOW and that this has always been the case. Time Inc.UK therefore has no exclusive right to the name IDEAL HOME and must share the rights with Media 10".

Mr Newton added "Time Inc. UK has aggressively tried to stop Media 10 using the name IDEAL HOME in connection with anything other than the century – old exhibition. Media 10 have spent a considerable amount of time and money defending what they always believed was right."

Martin Krause, the partner who led Haseltine Lake's litigation team who acted on behalf of Media 10, commented: "Both the show and the magazine have longstanding roots in the home interest industry and the court's original decision reflected the commercial reality for the IDEAL HOME name.

Online retail of home interest products is a natural extension of the Ideal Home Show's business and we couldn't see how Media 10 could be stopped from growing its business in this way."