While we thought the launch of Financial Times facsimile edition in India would not happen till the legal tangles over its title is resolved, the paper has received government clearance for the title ‘Financial Times Facsimile’ and may launch sooner than expected. The Registrar of Newspapers in India (RNI), in its latest list approved yesterday, has granted the title ‘Financial Times Facsimile’ to Financial Times India Pvt. Ltd, the Indian unit of Pearson (NYSE: PSO) Plc., the publisher of the respected British pink paper. A facsimile edition is an exact replica of a newspaper published abroad and is not allowed to carry local news or advertising that is not part of the original edition.
As we reported earlier, the title ‘Financial Times’ is owned in India by The Times of India publisher Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Early last year, shortly after it emerged that Financial Times was in talks with the Network18 Group to launch a daily in India, a BCCL subsidiary, Times Publishing House Ltd, registered several titles, such as Asian Financial Times, Financial Times Asia, Daily Financial Times, Emerging Financial Times, Financial Times of Asia. FT, FT Asia, FT Network, FT South Asia, FT World, FT Worlwide, WFT, World Financial Times and Worldwide Financial Times, according to the information on the RNI website. Financial Times India has approached the Intellectual Property Appellate Board, a government body that settles disputes over trade marks, to obtain rights to its globally recognized title. The case is next scheduled for a July hearing.
FT has also received clearances from the Foreign Investment Promotion Board to make the necessary investments. Final clearances from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting may be the only remaining procedure required before the paper can hit the stands.
FT’s global competitor, The Wall Street Journal, launched a facsimile version of its Asian edition last month.