The influential New York Times is suing Huffington Post over its new section called “Parentlode,” which sounds similar to the three-year old blog in the New York Times called the “Motherlode.”
The problem lies with a New York Times reporter, Lisa Belkin, who left Times and joined Huffington Post last month. She had started the “Motherlode” three years ago while at the Times, and has now just launched her “Parentlode Blog” at Huffington Post on Monday, October 24, 2011.
According to the New York Times, the two names are just too identical with Times saying they had been basically ripped off, especially with the loss of their long-time employee as part of the wound. And it seems pretty obvious that the Time is serious, with New YorkTimes lawyer Richard Samson addressing a letter to Adrianna Huffington,
“This is a transparent attempt to capitalize on the fame and reputation of the original nytimes.com blog, and constitutes an obvious infringement of The Times’ rights under U.S. Trademark law,” Samson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Women's Wear Daily.
The name Motherlode was officially filed in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the New York Times on Monday morning, according to Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman. "According to the Times' letter, the paper trademarked the Motherlode name on Monday, though U.S. copyright law states that those rights begin accruing at the time of first use." (Yahoo)
Meanwhile, Huffington Post had also filed under the name Parentlode under AOL, who had recently purchased Huffington Post.
The New York Times lawyer said if they had not heard from the Huffington Post in three days, they would be forced to go to court.