Magazine publisher IPC Media has seen off a trademark challenge over the name of defunct music magazine Melody Maker saying it has plans to give the magazine a new lease of life online.
IPC plans to revive the Melody Maker name with a comprehensive online archive of the magazine – which ran from 1926 until it merged with the New Musical Express in 2000.
The company successfully fought a battle through the UK’s Intellectual Property Office to prevent Spanish company Nice Fashion & Music SL from registering the Melody Maker name as a trademark for its own purposes.
Making his ruling, IPO judge George Salthouse said: “There is a clear visual, aural and conceptual similarity between the marks, with only minor differences which do not affect the way that the average consumer would view the marks.
“To my mind the reputation of IPC with regard to music, in printed form or recorded form is such that use of the almost identical mark by Nice with regard to ‘Musical productions’ would cause misrepresentation.”
He ordered NICE to pay IPC £6,400 towards its legal costs.
In evidence submitted to the IPO, the London-based magazine publisher IPC said although Melody Maker magazine had closed, it had not abandoned the Melody Maker brand.
The publisher said that soon after the magazine’s closure, work started on the digitalisation of the Melody Maker archive, with a company employed to electronically scan every page of every issue of Melody Maker magazine, with a view to making the complete searchable digital archive available online under the Melody Maker brand.
IPC claims that any online archive service could be funded by advertising therefore providing users free access to historic Melody Maker artwork, including some of the Melody Maker logos. The publisher said the archive would be of interest to the general public at large as well as to the enthusiasts and academics.
Although the technical aspects of the archive are almost complete, IPC said it still needed to address some legal issues before making the archive available.
When approached about future plans for the Melody Maker brand, a spokeswoman for IPC Media: “Melody Maker is an iconic brand in the history of music magazines and we will continue to explore ways to make that historic content available digitally.”