ITV Trio Contemplates Legal Action Over ITV Digital

11 July 2001

Three media groups in Britain’s ITV commercial television network are contemplating legal action against their larger colleagues Carlton Communications and Granada Media over the rebranding of the terrestrial digital broadcaster OnDigital to ITV Digital.

OnDigital – co-owned by Carlton and Granada – launches the renaming process today with an ad campaign. However, SMG, Ulster Television and Channel Television claim the proposed ITV Digital branding breaches the ITV trademark, and are refusing to broacast ads promoting the change of name.

“The brand of ITV is owned collectively by all the companies in the network,” said a senior executive at one of the trio. “Carlton and Granada are stealing from us without compensation.”

Although they are reluctant to sue Granada and Carlton, the three media companies are mulling applying to the courts for an injunction against the name-change.

However, it is not clear whether the ITV trademark actually is collectively owned, or whether the companies within the ITV network possess the brand only in the areas where they broadcast.

News source: The Times (London)