Oregon publisher insists magazine title not trademark infringement

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Feb 18, 2013

HOUSTON - SagaCity Media Inc. is asking a Houston federal court to declare that it has not committed trademark infringement, recent records show.

In a petition filed Feb. 12, SagaCity Media, a Portland, Ore.-based publication company claims its planned April launch of a magazine called "Houstonia" will not negatively affect DM Luxury LLC.

DM Luxury, which is headquartered in Atlanta, publishes "Modern Luxury" magazines in a dozen U.S. cities, including Aspen, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Diego, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., as well as Houston.

DM Luxury accuses the plaintiff of "infringing and diluting" its right in its "Modern Living" Houston-based names and trademarks.

In correspondence dated Feb. 6,  DM Luxury informed SagaCity Media that its use and registration of the term Houstonia "will cause confusion, mistake or deception among customers," the suit states.

However, according to SagaCity Media, DM Luxury has not registered the mark "Houston" and has disclaimed the exclusive right to the use of the term.

"The term Houston describes both the geographic location and subject matter of the defendant’s publication," the suit says.

"There are several other third party trademarks containing the term Houston used and/or registered with magazines and publications in the United States and specifically in Houston."

SagaCity Media additionally asserts "no entity has a right to monopolize the term Houston in connection with magazines or publications distributed in or containing content about the city of Houston."

Houstonia differs from Houston in the sense the former "is a coined word with a vague, unspecified connection to the city of Houston," it says.

Attorney Tanya D. Henderson with Perkins Coie LLP in Dallas is representing SagaCity Media.

Case No. 4:13-CV-363

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