Village Voice Media, owner of the Village Voice and other alternative publications, is suing Time Out New York for infringing upon its trademark.
Village Voice claims that Time Out stole its trademark by using the phrase “Best of NYC” on the cover of its Nov. 3 issue.
It may seem like “Best of” is a pretty commonly used phrase — because it is — but apparently Village Voice registered the trademark for “Best of NYC” in 2008 and has done the same for cities like Dallas, Miami, San Francisco and St. Louis. It first used the "Infringed Mark" in 1999.
This is what the suit says about the meaning of the trademark: "Village Voice Media is the owner of the federal registered trademark "Best Of NYC, registered on August 5, 2008 in class 16/ for 'annual newspaper supplements in the field of listing individuals and businesses that have achieved excellence in areas of interest to the general public' and in class 41/ for ‘conducting awards programs honoring individuals and companies that have demonstrated excellence in their fields, in the quality of their products and services and in customer service.”
Tony Ortega, editor-in-chief of the Village Voice, had this to say via e-mail:
"The Voice has owned a registered trademark on "Best of NYC" for more than a decade. New York magazine uses "Best of New York," and until last year TONY was using "Best (and worst) of [year]." For some reason, TONY this year used our trademark.
There's not much point in owning a trademark if you're not going to defend it."
Paid Content posted the suit, in which the Village Voice states that it "wants the magazine to hand over its profits and for the court to grant an order directing Time Out New York to 'recall and destroy or surrender' the offending magazines."
It remains to be seen what the court makes of this case.