By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
The owners of a Cody-based UFO-themed magazine recently asked a federal judge to allow their trademark lawsuit against television network Showtime to continue.
“UFO Magazine” is suing Showtime for the network’s use of the phrase “UFO” as the title of one of its programs about unidentified flying objects.
Showtime asked that the lawsuit be dismissed, arguing that its use of the term is protected by the First Amendment, but UFO Magazine, which trademarked the term “UFO” in 2007 and again in 2017, said Showtime could use other expressions or words for the title. of his program.
“It does not matter [Showtime] could have chosen alternative and completely accurate words or phrases to describe his TV show and never mind that UFO Magazine invested time and resources in promotion and fundraising to develop a very expensive TV/movie project – [Showtime] argues that it can take and use UFO’s trademark title because UFO Magazine’s trademark fairly describes [Showtime’s] content,” UFO Magazine’s lawyers argued.
The magazine also argued that Showtime “regurgitated” stale alien-like tapes to market the show last year.
UFO’s attorneys also claimed that Showtime was “openly pirating” the magazine’s property rights.
The lawsuit stems from Showtime’s 2021 “UFO” documentary series. According to Showtime’s website, the series “explores our fascination with UFOs and the influence government, private business and the military can have to protect the truth”.
The magazine’s first commercial use of the term was in 1998, the same year the company was founded, and the owners’ lawyers argued that the magazine had been in talks as recently as last year about developing of his television show or his film, according to the first filings of complaint.
The magazine’s owners are asking Showtime to be banned from using the term “UFO” in any material and also for the channel to pay punitive damages, attorneys’ fees and any other costs the court deems legitimate.
According to the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, the magazine’s president is Cody’s Peter Kuyper. Its legal representative or “registered agent” is Lisa M. Price of Jackson.
The magazine’s first documents to be registered as a business in Wyoming were filed in 2018. The magazine was founded in California in the 1990s.
The term “UFO” first appeared in military accounts of unidentified flying objects in the 1950s, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.