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Trademark dispute spawns eye-catching front page

A trademark dispute between an island government and a local business led to a tongue-in-cheek weekly newspaper headline last week.

The Manx Independent ran with the headline ‘Twits’, with both the ‘T’s’ emphasised, after the row broke out between the Isle of Man’s Department of Economic Development and Bushy’s TT, a well-known business on the island.

The Department has told Bushy’s, a brewery which also sells merchandise, that it may be faced with legal action for using the letters ‘TT’ in its products.

The Department owns the trademark to several names and related logos for famous motorcycle race the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, which is widely known as the ‘TT’.


Independent editor Richard Butt, who designed the page, told HTFP: “The government claimed it was a trademark violation for Bushy’s Brewery to include ‘TT’ on merchandise such as t-shirts. But Bushy’s has been doing this for 25-plus years and has the trademark ‘Bushy’s TT’ registered.

“The feeling among our readers was that Bushy’s was in the right and that the government was being heavy handed.”

“The TT trademark issue became a big issue this week and I was originally wondering about two words beginning with T. ‘Total Twaddle’ or something like that. But then I had a flash of inspiration as I took my lunchtime walk.”

Richard added: “Although we have a template layout system inherited from our time as part of Johnston Press I do like to have freedom with layouts so we can be more innovative. It’s one of the things I enjoy most about my job.”

The Independent was bought by Tindle Newspapers from Johnston Press in August last year.

The £4.25m deal also saw its sister papers the Isle of Man Examiner and Isle of Man Courier changes hands, along with the trio’s shared website