Two St. Louis stations and their parent companies are in a legal battle over the marketing brand First Alert Weather.
In its lawsuit filed last week, Gray Media Group’s KMOV is accusing Tegna’s KSDK of violating a trademark after it started using the weather brand Weather First Alert months after KMOV started airing First Alert Weather.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the suit alleges that the “defendants have engaged in a blatant pattern of willful, deliberate infringement in order to wrongfully benefit from the goodwill that Gray has built up in connection with the FIRST ALERT WEATHER mark.”
In 2006, Gray Media Group’s predecessor, Raycom Media Inc. registered a trademark for the phrase First Alert Weather. The company purchased KMOV in 2021. In August 2022, Channel 4 rolled out a logo and branding for “First Alert Weather” in the St. Louis area.
Then, in October 2022, KSDK “suddenly debuted a new weather brand,” which included the phrase “Weather First” next to the term “Alert,” the suit says. KSDK had previously used the term “5 on Your Side Weather.”
KMOV first alerted KSDK of the alleged breach last year, but they could not negotiate an agreement, according to the suit.
Gray wants KSDK to stop using First Alert Weather or any other “confusingly similar” combination of words. It also wants damages.
A quick check of the Google machine showed TVSpy that First Alert Weather, while trademarked by Gray, is used across the country by local stations including CBS owned stations.