Castle Under New ' eh' Management.
Kinnity Castle owner claims infringement of trademark name
Aodhan O'Faolain – 12 December 2013
THE owner of the well known wedding venue Kinnitty Castle in Offaly has claimed a bank-appointed receiver operating the business has infringed his trademark name for the hotel.
Cornelius Ryan, who set up the business in the mid 1990s, failed to get a High Court injunction preventing the receiver and KBC bank from continuing to call the hotel "Kinnitty Castle" which he says is his intellectual property and registered trademark.
Yesterday, Mr Justice Sean Ryan said the businessman was not entitled to an injunction, preventing the bank and the receiver from continuing to use the Kinnitty Castle trademark, pending the outcome of the full hearing of Mr Ryan's claim.
The judge said Mr Ryan, who represented himself in the proceedings, was not entitled to an injunction because he had failed to convince the court that damages would not be an adequate remedy should he to succeed at the full hearing of his action.
The venue has been run by the receiver Declan Taite FGS Partnership , following his appointment by KBC in 2008. Yesterday, the court was told, a sale of the venue "is imminent."
In his proceedings against KBC and the receiver Mr Ryan claims he is the trademark owner and originator of the business identity of Kinnitty Castle, as well as the website www.kinnittycastle.com. He said that the trade is registered with the Irish Patents Office.
Mr Ryan told the court he bought the property, which was in a derelict state, from the State in the mid-1990's. He renovated and converted it into one of the most popular weddings venues in the country. He ran the business until KBC bank appointed a receiver in 2008.
He said KBC had acquired a charge over the property as security for monies loaned to him. however he said the bank did not have a charge over the use of the "Kinnitty Castle" trademark.
Mr Ryan seeks a declaration from the court that the defendants are not entitled to use what he says are his intellectual property and trademarks.
Both KBC Bank, which claims it is owed €5m by Mr Ryan, and the receiver deny the allegations any copyright infringement. They had also urged the court not to grant an injunction in favour of Mr Ryan.
Rossa Fanning Bl for Mr Taite said the hotel had used a different graphical representation and logo for the business compared to those used by Mr Ryan. His client had also used a different website, www.kinnittycastlehotel.com.
In his ruling, the judge said the application had raised interesting questions had been raised in relation to the questions about trademark law. However all the court was to decide was issues relevant to law concerning injunctions.
The Judge said in this he was not satisfied Mr Ryan had made out the case that in the event his action is successful that damage would not be an adequate remedy.
Following the ruling Mr Ryan said he intends to continue with his action against the defendants.
IRISH INDEPENDENT 12 OF DECEMBER 2013