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Ben covers the property industry and has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and travel writing. He speaks Mandarin and previously covered housing and urban affairs for The Australian Financial Review.

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Business Insider sues local minnow over name

Published 01 February 2013 12:16, Updated 06 February 2013 10:43

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Business Insider sues local minnow over name

Outspoken Henry Blodget’s New York-based The Business insider has hauled tiny Australian group Business Insider Pty Ltd into court over its name Photo: Bloomberg

New York-based digital media company The Business Insider is attempting to shut down a lesser-known but similarly named rival in Australia, saying the rival is getting a free ride off the established Business Insider brand.

In proceedings filed at the Brisbane registry of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Business Insider Inc wants Business Insider Pty Ltd to get itself a new name.

Business Insider Pty Ltd runs two business websites in regional NSW – the Central Coast Business Insider, and the Hunter Business Insider. It is headed by businessmen Mark Cleary, Bob Fitzgerald and Dean Collins.

The Business Insider (the New York version) was launched in February 2009 headed by Henry Blodget, and now claims 23 million unique visitors per month.

Australian media company Allure Media, which is a subsidiary of Fairfax Media, owns the rights to publish a local version of The Business Insider. But an Allure Media spokesman said the court case had nothing to do with Allure and was launched by the New York company.

Court documents reveal The Business Insider had 466,429 unique visitors from Australia during the month of September last year.

“The applicant [Business Insider, Inc] has acquired a substantial and valuable goodwill and reputation in Australia,” the company argues in its statement to court.

But the local version, Business Insider Pty Ltd, was incorporated in December 2010, according to the New York company’s court documents, and launched its website sometime around May 2011.

“[Business Insider Pty Ltd] has...passed off and/or threatened to pass off the Service as and for part of the services of [Business Insider, Inc],” say the court documents.

Business Insider Inc claims this amounts to misleading and deceptive conduct, and wants Business Insider Pty Ltd to stop using the Business Insider name.

Mark Cleary from Business Insider Pty Ltd did not return calls from BRW. But the court documents reveal lawyers for both companies have been exchanging letters for some time and the Hunter and Central Coast Business Insider have no plans to change their names.