New York Times sues Time magazine over its ‘Time100 Talks’ event

The New York Times is suing Time magazine over its “Time100 Talks” events, saying their name infringes on the trademark of its own live-event series “TimesTalks.”

The magazine has run a red-carpet event called “Time 100” in conjunction with a print issue and its website for years, highlighting the most influential people in the world in entertainment, politics, religion, science and tech.

This year, the magazine boosted the event by interviewing people on its list under the moniker “Time100 Talks.” The effort is part of the plan by Time’s tech billionaire owner, Marc Benioff, and his wife, Lynne, who bought the magazine from Meredith for $190 million in September 2018 to expand the franchise with live events, TV shows and other offerings.

But in a suit filed last week, the NYT is objecting to the name. “TimesTalks has been a registered trademark that The New York Times Company has owned and used for more than 20 years for its live journalism event,” a spokeswoman for NYT said. “It’s clear to  us that the similarity of these two names will cause confusion in the marketplace.”

The NYT said it filed the suit in federal district court in Manhattan only after out-of-court talks went nowhere.

“It’s flattering that the New York Times is concerned with the success of TIME 100 Talks, but we find their complaint to be baseless and somewhat bewildering,” a Time spokeswoman countered in a written statement. “The TIME 100 brand has been registered as a trademark and widely recognized for more than two decades, and the word ‘talks’ is commonly used across similar programs in many industries.”

Time said the “TIME100 Talks” have convened more than 100 notable guests since they started in April, including immunologist Dr. Anthony Fauci, actress and UN advocate Angelina Jolie, musicians John Legend and Elton John, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Dalai Lama, and generated more than 50 million video views across Time’s platforms.

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