Court zaps ISP’s request to prohibit TV network’s use of CURRENT trademark

Injunctive relief denied in trademark suit against Current TV, as court finds broadband services and television network services “not related or only tangentially related.”

Plaintiff Current Communications provides broadband over power line (BPL) services to about 2,100 customers in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. It owns several trademarks used in connection with these services. Defendant Current Media operates the new television network Current TV, which seeks to “democratize” television by airing content that users have submitted through the Internet.

Current Communications sued Current Media for, among other things, trademark infringement, and asked the court to prohibit Current Media from using the word “Current” in connection with its newly-launched network. The court denied the plaintiff’s request, and refused to enter an injunction.

The court went through a thorough analysis of the “likelihood of confusion” factors to determine that injunctive relief would not be proper. Current Communications had not shown that it would likely succeed on the merits of its trademark infringement claim.

One of the likelihood of confusion factors was the extent to which the services provided by the plaintiff and defendant were related. The court concluded that the parties are not direct competitors, “[n]or is it likely that they will become direct competitors.” Accordingly, the court concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion as to the source of the parties’ services, and injunctive relief would not be proper.

Current Comm. Group, LLC v. Current Media, LLC, 2005 WL 1847215 (S.D.Ohio, Aug. 2, 2005).