Back in 1996 Bargain Pages (BP) sued Midland Independent Newspapers (MIN) for passing off. The case was settled on terms which included a court order restricting the names and get-ups under which MIN could publish its own papers and ordering MIN to impose that order on its parent and subsidiary companies. Six years later, following intense corporate reorganisation on each side, BP had become a subsidiary of Bargain Pages Media (BPM) and MIN had become part of Trinity Mirror, Britain’s largest newspaper group.

In January 2003 BP launched a new paper, The Bargain Pages, whereupon one of MIN’s former subsidiaries MNL, itself part of the Trinity Mirror group, brought out a rival publication, Bargain Hunter. BP had already commenced passing off proceedings before BP’s lawyers found the papers relating to the 1996 trial and order. Among the questions before the court was whether, in a claim relating to breach of the 1996 order, BP could amend its claim by joining BPM as a second claimant and Trinity Mirror and MNL as further defendants. The Vice Chancellor Sir Andrew Morritt ruled that BP could join BPM as a claimant but that Trinity Mirror and MNL could not be joined as defendants since, to put it simply, they were not around at the time of the 1996 litigation. But he confirmed that BP could sue MIN for failing to procure the adherence of Trinity Mirror and MNL to the 1996 order.

Strike a hard bargain here or here

OLD INJUNCTION, NEW TWIST <strong>OLD INJUNCTION, NEW TWIST</strong> Reviewed by Jeremy on Monday, August 04, 2003 Rating: 5

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