The New York Times is making good on its threat to pursue legal action against the Huffington Post over two very similar blog names.
Two weeks ago, former Times reporter Lisa Belkin launched her new blog, Parentlode, on the Huffington Post. The Times wasn’t too pleased with how close the title was to Motherlode, Belkin’s old blog on the Times’ website, and sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Huffington Post asking it to change the name, or else the Times would “pursue legal remedies.”
The blog wasn’t renamed, and last Friday, the Times filed a lawsuit against the Huffington Post for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and deceptive trade practices. The Times is also hoping to force AOL to abandon its trademark application for the Parentlode title.
According Reuters, the suit alleges that Belkin “clearly intended” to confuse readers into believing that Parentlode was the same as Motherlode, and when the Times asked Arianna Huffington to change the blog's name, she declined. The Times also cited certain examples elsewhere on the Web that illustrate readers’ confusion, including a Twitter post that read, “The NYT's Motherlode becomes HuffPo's Parentlode.”