The New York Times has sued Time, arguing that the magazine’s “Time100 Talks” branding for a livestream series sounds too much like the paper’s trademarked “Times Talks” event series.
“This is a straightforward case of trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices,” a lawyer for the Times aruged in a complaint filed last Friday in a New York court.
“For more than 20 years, Plaintiff The New York Times Company (“NYTCo”) has used the trademark Times Talks in commerce in connection with a series of live and virtual recorded events consisting of conversations between The New York Times journalists and leading talents and thinkers,” the complaint says. “NYTCo uses its Times Talks mark prominently at its NYTimes.com website and at its dedicated YouTube channel, and promotes the long-running Times Talks series across various media and social media channels, including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, etc.”
A spokesperson for Time told TheWrap, “It’s flattering that the New York Times is concerned with the success of Time 100 Talks, but we find their complaint to be baseless and somewhat bewildering. The Time 100 brand has been registered as a trademark and widely recognized for more than two decades, and the word ‘talks’ is commonly used across similar programs in many industries.”
The “Time100 Talks” — held digitally amid the coronavirus crisis — are branded by the magazine as “a new live event series that convenes leaders from every field to spotlight solutions to urgent global problems and encourage cross-disciplinary action.”
“Time 100 Talks” promotional materials also highlight past speakers like Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Dalai Lama and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.