Using a trademarked name could constitute an act of infringement.

Gwyneth Paltrow hit with copyright infringement lawsuit

August 27, 2014 1:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

As has been discussed previously on this blog, when a company uses a particular word, phrase or mark to describe its brand, this aspect of the business serves to define it in the marketplace, and as such it may be copyrighted, trademarked or otherwise legally protected. When another business entity attempts to use the same name, or a similar one, it has the potential to cause confusion in the marketplace and damage to the trademarked business. When this happens, a lawsuit may ensue.

Actress Gwyneth Paltrow owns a website called GOOP. The site provides lifestyle information, including information about recipes, travel guides, fashion and more. The site was recently sued for alleged copyright infringement.

According to an article from the Daily Mail, the website made use of a moniker that a nutritionist has taken issue with. Paltrow referenced an interview with nutritionist Kelly Dorfman that used the name "Diet Detective," which is actually the trademarked name of Charles Platkin, a nutrition and public health advocate from New York City. reports that Platkin has owned the copyright to the name "Diet Detective" since 2004. However, since Paltrow's website referenced the name, Platkin is seeking damages. As illustrated by this case, the fact that Platkin and Dorfman each work in the nutrition world could cause confusion if they are both referred to as the "Diet Detective." For this reason, Platkin made the move of protecting his trademark, which appears to have been beneficial. 

Every business needs to consider what steps they must take to ensure the protection of intellectual property. Contact a Phoenix, AZ small business attorney to learn more about how to safeguard your intellectual property assets. 

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