Fairfax Media and Ten go to court over ’10 Boss’ name

Fairfax Media has commenced legal proceedings against Network Ten over its newly rebranded multichannel, 10 Boss.

Mumbrella understands Fairfax Media commenced preliminary proceedings against the CBS-owned broadcaster, after it rebranded multi-channel One as ’10 Boss’, on October 31.

Ten rebranded One to ’10 Boss’ on October 31

The documents, first filed on November 9, followed a small tweak by Ten to the 10 Boss logo, after Fairfax Media complained it was similar to the Australian Financial Review’s Boss logo.

Originally the ’10 Boss’ logo had a number 10 sitting in a circle, next to the word ‘BOSS’. Around the time of Fairfax Media’s complaint, Network Ten filed two versions of the logo – one with the ‘O’ in ‘BOSS’ filled in.

Fairfax Media – which is currently awaiting a merger with broadcaster Nine – has three trademarks relating to Boss on the IP Australia website – AFR Boss, The Australian Financial Review Boss, and Boss.

AFR Boss and The Australian Financial Review Boss were first registered as trademarks in 1999, while ‘Boss’ was registered in 2015.

The three trademarks are classed under publications, newspaper magazines, inserts, as well as electronic publication services, such as online newspapers and magazines, among other areas.

Meanwhile, Network Ten’s trademarks are for ’10 Boss’ and ‘Ten Boss’ and are filed under similar classes, namely broadcasting and streaming, as well as online publication services.

Ten registered the trademarks as part of a major overhaul of the network’s branding. 10 Boss – formerly known as One – was defined as an ‘attitude’, while Eleven – now known as 10 Peach – was rebranded to reflect a ‘feeling’.

An ‘interlocutory’ hearing – one which deals with the rights of both parties before a judgement is made – will occur on December 3. This hearing can often include an injunction. Should an injunction be granted, Ten could be prevented from using ‘BOSS’ across its various platforms.

Ten declined to comment. Mumbrella has approached Fairfax Media for comment.

Update 13:07 November 26: 

A Fairfax Media spokesperson said: “We have commenced proceedings against Ten Network to protect our BOSS trade mark. BOSS is a long-held, well-established trade mark of Fairfax’s and we take our intellectual property rights seriously.”


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