The Seattle Trademark Lawyer had an interesting article we missed earlier. A Western District Judge came down hard on Discovery Communications regarding their popular cooking show, Cake Boss, and its infringement of a trademark owned by Masters Software, Inc.. In the opinion, Judge Richard Jones blasts Discovery for not even making a “rudimentary” attempt to see if Cake Boss was already in circulation… not referring to a formal trademark search, but rather to a basic internet search, as www.cakeboss.com was online at the time Discovery chose to start their show (early 2009).
The injunctive relief in this case will prove to be quite expensive. It serves as a reminder to valuators looking at trademarks that performing and documenting fundamental internet searches on trademarks, trade names, etc., should be part of the due diligence process.