Scripps Network Interactive, Inc., the owner of Food Network and the Cooking Channel, may have gotten itself into some hot water after allegedly taking the name of a show they are going to debut on the Cooking Channel .
A suit was filed against the media company by US Foods alleging that the Cooking Channel is improperly attempting to use its trademarked “Food Fanatics.”
This suit comes after US Foods and Scripps had been in talks about potentially creating a show centering on the local cuisine of different cities. The talks ended without a partnership ever materializing.
US Foods has been using its “Food Fanatics” tag for a variety of projects including a blog, website, and short videos highlighting chef’s tips and food from around the country. Scripps now has plans to roll out its own “Food Fanatics with Eden Grishpan”, a series that shines the spotlight on creative food bloggers and their favorite local places to eat, leaving US Foods with a bad taste in its mouth.
US Foods claims Scripps made a “bad faith” attempt to use the mark, especially given the recent negotiations between the two companies to develop a similarly themed TV show. They are also unhappy that Scripps is trying to take the good will and unique character of its “Food Fanatics” mark, and potentially cause confusion as to viewers who may believe that this new show is related to the US Foods mark.
US Foods is seeking to stop the show from airing under this name, and stop Scripps from using the mark in any of its products. It is also asking for punitive damages, trebled damages, and its legal costs and fees. What remains to be seen is whether Scripps and the Cooking Channel have the right recipe to get out of this pickle.
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