Los Angeles – NBCUniversal Media LLC has come under fire for misappropriating the name for its Style Network reality television show “Wicked Fit” in a new trademark infringement lawsuit a similarly named South Carolina fitness center filed Wednesday.
Since as early as January 2009, Wicked Fitness LLC has been in the business of operating a fitness center which includes physical fitness training and conditioning classes. The company has always provided its services under the service trademark Wicked Fitness, and has offered to license the right to use the trademark to others, with the intent of franchising the business concept.
Wicked Fitness’s success is due substantially to its branding and the quality control exercised over the use of its trademark, the company says. The gym has obtained federal trademark registrations from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the name Wicked Fitness, as well as many other variants including Wicked Power Yoga, Wicked Belly Dancing, Wicked Boot Camp and Wicked Prenatal.
NBC has begun broadcasting a show based on physical fitness and training through its Style Network under the name Wicked Fit, which has caused and will continue to cause confusion in the marketplace, in addition to infringing the gym’s trademark, Wicked Fitness says.
NBC’s unauthorized use of the trademark creates a likelihood of confusion, mistake, and deception as to the source and sponsorship of their goods and services, according to the complaint. Consumers are likely to mistakenly believe that NBC’s business is associated or affiliated with the gym and that NBC’s business is an authorized licensee, which it is not, Wicked Fitness says.
NBC has, by its infringement, injured Wicked Fitness’s valuable goodwill and well established business reputation, the complaint claims.
Confusion is not only likely, but is actually occurring in the here and now, as the gym has received inquiries from customers about the relationship between its business and the reality show, Wicked Fitness says.
Wicked Fit takes place in a women-only gym in which Katie Boyd, a beauty queen turned trainer, puts a set of clients through their paces. The series debuted in October 2011 but did not garner good reviews.