ITV minority shareholder SMG yesterday took Carlton and Granada to court to stop them using the ITV name for their merged company.

ITV minority shareholder SMG yesterday took Carlton and Granada to court to stop them using the ITV name for their merged company.

The Glasgow-based company, which own Scottish TV and Grampian TV, asked a judge to grant an injunction against the pair using ITV for their merged entity claiming that the 'ITV brand is the collective property of all the ITV franchises'.

The injunction was refused but the judge ruled that Carlton and Granada would have to pay compensation for using the ITV if it was proved that they did not have sole rights to the brand. SMG argues that the name ITV belongs equally to all the network's 15 franchises.

The issue will be discussed at the next ITV council meeting. SMG TV chief Donald Emslie is chairman of the ITV council.

Carlton and Granada were forced to pay compensation to SMG and other minority shareholders Ulster TV and Channel TV after they decided to rebrand their now defunct digital terrestrial television joint venture On Digital as ITV Digital.