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891 ABC "celebrates" new name after legal defeat

Local

The ABC's Adelaide radio station today announced it was celebrating changing its name from 891 ABC to "ABC Adelaide", but its Sydney bosses are promising a legal fight to allow it use its preferred option - ABC Radio Adelaide.

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Just before Christmas, community station Radio Adelaide won an injunction in the Federal Court preventing the ABC from rebranding its Adelaide station as “ABC Radio Adelaide”.

The ABC, which is rebadging all of its capital city stations along similar lines from today, has opted for the “ABC Adelaide” moniker in the interim.

Today the station tweeted that it was celebrating its new logo, but ABC management insist they are disappointed with the injunction and will fight for the right to use the ABC Radio Adelaide name.

“As a temporary measure, the station will be known as ABC Adelaide and the logo will reflect that,” an ABC Radio spokesperson said.

“Other capital cities will adopt the new naming convention as previously announced (ABC Radio Brisbane, ABC Radio Darwin etc).

“ABC Radio is disappointed with the outcome of the injunction and will defend its position as proceedings move to trial in April.

“Our position stands: our identity is led by the ABC brand in all locations and on all platforms.

“Our proposed brand evolution to ABC Radio Adelaide ensures that at all times, ‘ABC’ or the ABC Wave logo would accompany the words ‘Radio Adelaide’, when used descriptively on-air, visually in promotional material or otherwise. As such, we do not feel there will be confusion in the marketplace between the two stations.”

Radio Adelaide took legal action in December after it was shocked by an ABC announcement to rebadge 891 as ABC Radio Adelaide – a moniker that the community station says is a rip-off of its long-standing name.

In the Federal Court in December, counsel for Radio Adelaide, Ian Robertson SC, said the ABC was “trampling all over my client’s brand – a brand that has been built over a decade”.

Robertson argued “Radio Adelaide” was more than just a descriptive phrase, but an established brand.

But counsel for the ABC Mark Douglas told the court “Radio Adelaide” was “the most generic term imaginable” and that were inherent risks in a business attempting to associate its brand with generic terms.

“There are a number of people involved in conducting [the broadcast of] radio in the location of Adelaide,” he said.

He argued that “Radio Adelaide” merely described a medium and a location, whereas “ABC Radio Adelaide” constituted a brand (ABC Radio) followed by a location (Adelaide).

But Robertson said that “the only relevant holder of the trademark is my client” and “the only radio service operating in Adelaide using the name ‘Radio Adelaide’ is my client”.

Justice Natalie Charlesworth granted the injunction ahead of a full trial in April.

InDaily has contacted Radio Adelaide for its response to the ABC’s interim name for its Adelaide station.

 

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