News Corp says IMG doesn't own "The Daily" name

NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp’s planned tablet-based daily news service, The Daily, has asked a judge to bar IMG Worldwide from laying claim to trademark ownership of the Daily name.

Rupert Murdoch, chairman and chief executive of News Corporation, delivers a public lecture in Lady Thatcher's honour at Lancaster House in London October 21, 2010. REUTERS/Arthur Edwards/Pool

Lawyers for IMG, which owns a fashion industry publication called The Daily Front, have advised News Corp that IMG owns common law trademark rights to the words “The Daily,” according to News Corp’s court documents.

The two sides met on Thursday but were unable to reach an agreement, according to the filing, prompting News Corp to strike first ahead of what it said was a “likely” and “imminent” lawsuit from IMG.

IMG said in a letter to News Corp dated November 23 that the use of the title would infringe IMG’s trademarks and confuse its readers.

A spokesman for IMG Worldwide, a global sports and media talent agency, declined to comment.

The court filings were also the first broad official acknowledgment of News Corp’s plans for a daily news ‘paper’ that would be available only on tablet devices like Apple Inc’s iPad.

While top executives including Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch and his son James have acknowledged plans for The Daily, they have yet to share many details.

In the filing, News Corp describes The Daily as “the first major tablet-only media outlet,” saying it will deliver broad-gauged custom-crafted coverage of news, the arts, lifestyle, sports and opinion” in format designed for tablets.

The filing also said The Daily would launch early next year initially for the iPad, on a paid subscription basis.

The suit was filed in the U.S. Southern District of New York, case no: 10 CIV 9204.

Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Steve Orlofsky