On October 24, 2011, a former New York Times employee and manager of that company’s 3-year old “Motherlode” blog launched a new blog for her new employer, AOL’s The Huffington Post, called “Parentlode.”
That’s the story that a lawsuit filed by the New York Times on November 4, 2011 tells of Lisa Belkin who — 1-month into her new gig with The Huffington Post — launched the new blog with a name that is very similar to the blog she managed for the New York Times.
“Her first Parentlode blog entry referred to the Motherlode blog and said the name change in part reflected reader concerns that Motherlode does not fit ‘in an era when fathers are every bit the parent.’ She also said the old name does not fit a blog that ‘regularly champions equality, and new paradigms.’“
The New York Times claims in its lawsuit that Parentlode was launched with a name so close to its existing Motherlode blog that it “clearly intended” to confuse people.
Coincidence? It’s highly doubtful. You can follow the links to see the trademark filings from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for Motherlode (filed on October 24, 2011, the day Parentlode launched, but first used in commerce on October 1, 2008) and Parentlode (filed on October 14, 2011).
What do you think? Is the New York Times wasting its time? Should AOL fight the lawsuit or cut their losses (after all, the Parentlode blog has only been live for a couple of weeks)? One thing is for certain, AOL, The Huffington Post, the New York Times, Motherlode, and Parentlode are all getting some publicity from this lawsuit.
Leave a comment and share your thoughts. Who should be the victor in the trademark dispute between Motherlode and Parentlode and which brand should prevail?
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