SBS Sues Atlanta Station Owner For 'Mega,' 'El Vacilon' Trademark Infringement
June 13, 2012 at 4:27 AM (PT)
SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM has sued DAVIS BROADCASTING INC. for a trademark violation, alleging that DAVIS is infringing its trademarks by using SBS' "MEGA" logo and "EL VACILON DE LA MANANA" morning show name, for its Tropical W243CE (LA MEGA 96.5)/ATLANTA. SBS registered the federal trademark for the MEGA logo in 2009 and the EL VACILON name in 2004; it is seeking injunctive and monetary relief from the court.
"Imitation is often described as the sincerest form of flattery. However, in the realm of trademarks, imitation -- or, more accurately in this case, blatant copying -- triggers liability," the suit alleges. "Seeking to unfairly capitalize on the goodwill and popularity that SBS has created among radio listeners across the country, (the defendants) made a calculated decision to exploit the same trademarked names and logos that SBS has used for many years to promote a strikingly similar Spanish-language radio station and morning show. Specifically, the Defendants have branded their radio station using the same name, together with a logo employing near-identical concentric ovals as well as a similar color scheme as SBS’s MEGA Mark."
"Given the limitless possibility of names and symbols that were available to the Defendants," the complaint adds, "the similarity of their logo to the MEGA Mark is no accident. Instead, it represents a calculated attempt to unfairly capitalize on the reputation, goodwill and success of MEGA 97.9 and the MEGA Mark."
The suit alleges that while DAVIS dropped the EL VACILON morning show on FEBRUARY 17th after being served with a cease-and-desist letter, it kept the MEGA name and logo, saying that "if you really pay attention" to the logo, there are some differences.