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The UFO Phenomenon

'UFO' docuseries is hit with a trademark lawsuit

By T.K. Randall
April 16, 2022 · Comment icon 8 comments

The magazine has objected to the title of the series. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Gerhard Uhlhorn
The series - simply entitled 'UFO' - has become mired in legal problems over a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Produced by J.J. Abrams' production company Bad Robot Productions, the four-part series - which aired back in 2021 - offered a renewed look at the possibility of alien visitation and the US government's efforts to cover-up what it knows about the phenomenon.

Now though, the show has become the subject of a lawsuit filed by UFO Magazine Inc.

The popular magazine, which ran for 158 issues between 1986 and 2012 - claimed that the use of the name 'UFO' had disrupted its own plans to launch a TV show with the same title.
In addition to holding a trademark for the word, the magazine maintains that AMC had repeatedly ignored requests to change the name of its docuseries before broadcasting it.

"Despite having actual notice and knowledge of UFO Magazine's trademark registrations and UFO Magazine's trademark and intellectual property rights, Defendant Showtime has continued to stream its television programming bearing the infringing 'UFO' title; has advertised and promoted its television programming bearing the infringing 'UFO' title; and has generated substantial revenue from its television programming bearing the infringing 'UFO' title," the filing reads.

Whether or not the company behind the show will co-operate with the request remains unclear.

Source: Hollywood Reporter | Comments (8)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by WolfHawk 2 years ago
Isn't "UFO" too general a name to copyright? It's been in use since at least the 1940s/1950s.
Comment icon #2 Posted by pallidin 2 years ago
Comment icon #3 Posted by Ratbiter 2 years ago
And both are preceded by Gerry Andersons TV series UFO that aired in the 70's.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 2 years ago
The acronym "UFO" was created by the US military. Where's their cut ?  
Comment icon #5 Posted by Stiff 2 years ago
I guess the easy way out would be to add 's on the end. I'd be telling them to U-FO, personally.
Comment icon #6 Posted by rashore 2 years ago
Kind of interesting the magazine is suing Showtime for triple their profits on the series... yet left the production company of the series out of the suit. I'm going to hazard a guess that Story Mining & Supply Co wasn't worth suing for their 2018 movie of the same name. Maybe the movie didn't make enough for even a triple the profit kind of lawsuit.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Liquid Gardens 2 years ago
I think you're right about that, although looks like Scully guest-starred in it which may be the most it has going for it.  Not sure about why the prod company wasn't named unless Showtime maybe acquired all the rights to it from them.  If they were warned about the infringement as the OP indicates, it seems like it would have been pretty easy for Showtime to avoid by just adding an additional word or maybe even letter like mentioned above to the title.
Comment icon #8 Posted by OverSword 2 years ago
UFO, also the name of a great British TV series in the 70's

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