New Hampshire Public Radio filed a lawsuit Friday in an effort to resolve a trademark dispute with the owners of Outside Magazine.
NHPR filed its suit in the District Court of New Hampshire after receiving cease-and-desist letters from Mariah Media Network, the owner of Outside Magazine, asking the station to change the name of its podcast Outside/In. The podcast, which debuted in 2015, is also distributed for broadcast radio by the Public Radio Exchange. It features stories related to the natural world.
According to the lawsuit, Mariah Media had threatened litigation against NHPR if it did not drop the podcast name, citing trademark infringement. NHPR told Mariah Media that it was “open to exploring a creative, rather than legal resolution” and a “collaborative relationship,” according to the suit.
But Mariah maintained that the name of NHPR’s podcast “blurs the distinctiveness” of its Outside trademark. NHPR responded again seeking a “collaborative course of action” but was again rejected, the suit claims.
“As of the date of this Complaint, the parties have been unable to reach a resolution of this trademark dispute and are at an impasse,” the suit says. NHPR asked the court to agree that the station is within its right to use the name.
The suit points out that Outside Magazine named Outside/In the best podcast of 2016, “even if the name is pretty darn close to our own.”
Mariah has 60 days to respond to the suit.