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Trademark Dispute Settled Between Florida Newspapers

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The Associated Press reported that a trademark dispute over the right to use the name “Tampa Bay Times” has been settled between the newspapers St. Petersburg Times and The Tampa Tribune.

The trademark dispute commenced last February when the Tribune sued the Times in federal court for trademark infringement. The Times countersued, claiming that the Tribune had abandoned the mark “Tampa Times.”

The Tampa Tribune uses “Tampa Bay Times” in small type on its nameplate, while the St. Petersburg Times uses it on a free publication launched in 2004.

Times Publishing Company, the parent company of the St. Petersburg Times, will be allowed to continue to call its free publication “tbt/Tampa Bay Times,” under the settlement.

However, it must continue to use the acronym “tbt” in type seven times larger and increase the size of the words on the publication saying “pubished by the St. Petersburg Times” or “published by the St. Pete Times.” “Tbt” must accompany “Tampa Bay Times” in all advertising for the next five years, at which time the restrictions will be lifted.

There will also be three internet domain names containing “tampabaytimes” which will not be linked to the St. Petersburg Times until the end of this five year period. Neither side will use each other’s trademarks for online search engine advertising.

Media General Operations, Inc., the parent company of The Tampa Tribune, will retain rights to the name “Tampa Times.”

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