Starbucks red cups are here! The commercial holiday season has begun. Speaking of which, you know that gag in the best holiday movie of the 21st century so far, Elf, where Will Ferrell blows into a nondescript New York City diner to congratulate them on having, as the storefront advertised, the “World’s Best Cup of Coffee”? And then later, on an adventurous date, a blindfolded Zooey Deschanel tries the purported “world’s best” but finds it “crappy”?
Village Voice Media is taking legal action to make sure no consumer is duped by similarly baseless claims ever again.
Yesterday, Village Voice parent company Village Voice Media (VVM) filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against Time Out New York over the listings magazine’s use of the phrase “Best of NYC.” VVM trademarked the phrase in 2008, according to the suit, available at PaidContent.
Sure, Time Out’s use of the VVM-owned phrase “amounts to deceit and fraud,” that has caused the Voice to “suffer irreparable harm and damage,” as the complaint says. But the real reason it must stop is this: If we allow just anyone to throw around the Best of NYC distinction, how will tourists tell a Roberta’s from the Ray’s Originals?
According to VVM, Time Out is not “authorized or accredited” to dispense “best of” honors, putting consumers at risk.
“Consumers and members of the trade are likely to believe that the services obtained from Time Out are of the same high caliber and accreditation as Village Voice when they are not,” the complaint says, which “constitutes willful and morally culpable conduct to an extreme degree.”
Forget trademark infringement, they should take this straight to the FTC.
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