Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Is MTV Bringing Back TRL?

The popular MTV television series TRL (aka Total Request Live) from the late 1990's and 2000's might be making a comeback if recent trademark applications are any indication.
On April 27th, Viacom International, Inc., MTV's parent company, filed three trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for:
Viacom filed each application in Class 41 covering the same services:
Entertainment services in the nature of continuing program series, featuring live action, comedy and drama provided through cable television, broadcast television, internet, video-on-demand, and through other forms of transmission media; providing online information in the field of entertainment concerning television programs; entertainment services, namely, providing radio programs and podcasts in the fields of music and news; production and distribution of radio programs and podcasts and distribution of radio programs and podcasts for others
Each application was filed on an intent to use basis, which indicates Viacom is not currently using these marks in commerce but has a bona fide intention to do so in the near future (which makes sense considering the last episode aired in 2008). See TMEP 806.01(b); 15 USC 1051(b).

While Viacom filed multiple applications and had some registrations for TRL or TOTAL REQUEST LIVE in the late 1990's and early 2000's, all have since expired. Only one registration for TRL is still active. However, that registration, registered in August 2004 and renewed in 2014 for another ten year term, covers a variety of clothing items in Class 25, not entertainment services or television shows.

These are the first TRL-related applications filed by Viacom since 2003 and the first TRL-related applications covering a entertainment services in the form of a television program filed since 2001.

Does this mean TRL is making a comeback? Maybe. Section 1(b) of the Lanham Act, 15 USC 1051(b), only requires that the applicant have a bona fide intention to use the mark in commerce. A "bone fide intent" only requires that there be something in the works for the mark and the underlying goods/services (i.e., a business plan, contracts in place, etc.), but does not mandate that the applicant actually start using the mark. That being said, if Viacom wants the above applications to mature into a federal registration, it will need to start using the marks and submit sufficient proof of same to the USPTO. See TMEP 902.

So, something is probably in the works for TRL, although what exactly is not clear. My only request is that they bring back Carson Daly.

No comments:

Post a Comment