Codename Enterprises (d/b/a Buzzr) v. Fremantlemedia North America, Inc.

Complaint for Infringement of's Registered BUZZR Trademark

by Ronald Coleman

This is a claim for willful trademark infringement by the North American division of one the largest television production companies in the world, Fremantlemedia North America, of plaintiff’s multiple registered trademarks for Internet and social media related uses of the word BUZZR, which plaintiff has used for the social website publishing business it has conducted under the name “Buzzr” since 2009 (the “BUZZR Trademark”).

Buzzr’s social website publishing business involves both the publication and discovery of websites and web content across digital channels, especially the Internet, on social media and mobile platforms. Since 2009, Plaintiff has publicly done business as “Buzzr”, launching its website on April 13, 2009 and debuting its first products on May 2, 2009, including free websites for the public.

Defendant, together with its parent company Fremantle Limited, produces some of the most successful television shows and owns some of the most valuable corresponding entertainment brands and trademarks on earth. These include the “American Idol” program and variants of the IDOL trademark in some 150 countries around the world; the “The X-Factor” and variants of THE X-FACTOR trademark in dozens of countries around the world; “America’s Got Talent” and variants of the GOT TALENT trademark in dozens of countries around the world; “Family Feud” and variants of the FAMILY FEUD trademark in dozens of countries around the world; “The Price is Right” and variants of the THE PRICE IS RIGHT trademark in dozens of countries around the world; and “Let’s Make a Deal” and variants of the LET’S MAKE A DEAL trademark.

Defendant’s 2014 estimated revenue was $1.65 billion, and it is a division of European broadcast giant RTL Group, whose 2014 revenue was $5.8 billion. Utilizing its vast multimedia and financial leverage, defendant did, notwithstanding its knowledge of Buzzr’s preexisting business, trademark and registrations, establish and promote multiple infringing entities wrongfully utilizing plaintiff’s BUZZR trademark and cross-promoting one another.

Plaintiff has repeatedly demanded that defendant cease its infringing conduct, formally placing defendant on notice not only of plaintiff’s rights in the BUZZR Trademark but of the specific commercial damage being caused by defendant’s conduct. Not only has defendant consistently refused to alter its conduct whatsoever in response to these communications, but it has proceeded with to file no fewer than nine applications to register variants of BUZZR as a trademark, all of which, except for one not yet published for opposition, plaintiff has opposed. The acts of the defendant have infringed, tarnished and diluted plaintiff’s rights in the BUZZR Trademark and constitute reverse confusion as well; if not enjoined by this Court, will continue to do so.

Moreover, defendant’s conduct is acting as, and if not stopped will continue to act as, a commercial, branding and legal roadblock to all conceivable and foreseeable expansions of plaintiff’s business utilizing its BUZZR Trademark. Plaintiff brings this action to vindicate and enforce its rights in the BUZZR Trademark and under other applicable law with respect to defendant’s conduct, to seek compensation for the injuries it has sustained as a result of that conduct, and for such other relief as the law and equity provide, as set forth in detail herein.

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Reference Info: Pleadings | Federal, 2nd Circuit, New York | United States

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Coleman, Archer & Greiner, PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Ronald Coleman

Archer & Greiner, PC on:

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