SiriusXM, Rural Media Group Get Sued Over 'Radio RFD' Name
May 22, 2013 at 4:37 AM (PT)
The ILLINOIS AGRICULTURAL ASSOCIATION is suing RURAL MEDIA GROUP and SIRIUS XM RADIO INC. to enjoin the defendants from using the name "RADIO RFD" for a new agricultural News-Talk channel to be launched on JULY 1st, alleging that the use of the name would violate the Lanham Act. The suit was filed on MAY 13th in U.S. District Court in the Central District of ILLINOIS.
RURAL MEDIA GROUP operates the RFD TV network and is launching a radio equivalent on the satellite service, but IAA has operated the RFD RADIO NETWORK since 1967 with 80 current affiliates and claims a registered trademark on "RFD," "RFD ILLINOIS," and "RFD RADIO NETWORK."
IAA alleges that RMG Pres. PATRICK GOTTSCH "approached IAA on more than one occasion regarding the potential use and/or purchase of one or more RFD Marks" and was rebuffed, but that an embargoed press release on MAY 9th called the pending channel "RADIO RFD" before being retracted, then reissued with an embargo to MAY 14th. The suit also notes that GOTTSCH attempted to register "RADIO RFD" with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was rejected for the likelihood of confusion with IAA's mark for "RFD ILLINOIS."