Fairfax Take It Up To Ten Over Boss Name Federal Court Fight
Forget about Boss clothing the big fight in town is all about a new Boss TV Channel owned by Channel Ten and the Fairfax ‘Boss Financial Review’ name.
It’s been revealed that Fairfax Media is seeking an injunction in the Federal Court challenging the Ten Network’s recently announced 10 BOSS multi-channel name
But that design was changed twice within days, seemingly in response to protests from Fairfax, with the latest design featuring the whole name “10 BOSS” in white writing inside a red circle.
Ten formally applied for trademarks on these logos two days later, for “broadcasting”, “streaming” and “entertainment platforms”, among others.
But Fairfax believes the logos for the new channel are too close to those being used by BOSS magazine. One of Fairfax’s problems with Ten’s new logos is that, like the AFR’s, they use capital letters.
Federal Court documents show that Fairfax will seek an ¬ “interlocutory”, or temporary, injunction against Ten before Justice David Yates of the Federal Court in Sydney, preventing Ten from using the BOSS name and logo across all of its platforms.
The Australian newspaper claims that the recent action has raised speculation that the enlarged Nine-Fairfax may be looking to roll out the BOSS brand across its TV, print and radio platforms.
The Australian understands Fairfax is arguing Ten’s 10 BOSS logo is “deceptively similar” to the AFR’s BOSS logo. A final hearing in which it will seek a permanent injunction would be held next year, in what would be one of the media court battles of 2019 they said.
Ten plans to vigorously fight Fairfax’s claim. Late last month Ten launched two new multi-channels, 10 BOSS and 10 Peach, to replace its previous multi-channels, One and Eleven.
Fairfax first applied for a trademark on the names “AFR BOSS” and “THE AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW BOSS” in 1999, mainly for print and electronic services. But 16 years later, it lodged another application that sought to simply trademark the name “BOSS” (without the AFR name).
Ten’s lawyers are understood to have maintained that the two brands are entirely distinct, and target very different markets. They believe the AFR’s BOSS magazine is aimed at business executives, while 10 BOSS courts a younger demographic.
Ten has also argued the network’s use of the word “BOSS” carries a different connotation to that of the AFR’s. It is understood to have maintained that in the context of the new Ten channel, the name had a new meaning that represented an “attitude”, rather than the traditional connotation of being a leader.