A New York bakery and its shareholder have filed a trademark infringement action against the Food Network, claiming that its proposed “Tough Cookies” show would confuse consumers. One Tough Cookie, Inc. v. Scripps Networks Interactive, Inc., No. 11-03675 (U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D.N.Y., filed May 31, 2011). According to the complaint, the Food Network has adopted “Tough Cookies” as the name of a “reality” TV series that will air in July 2011. It is apparently based on a “specialty bakery in New Jersey” called Crazy Susan’s Cookie Co. The plaintiffs allege that they are nationally known for “concentrating in ‘edible art’ in the form of cakes, cookies, and other pastries and baked goods” and registered their One Tough Cookie® mark in 2006.

The plaintiffs also allege, “Each time the ‘Tough Cookies’ television show airs, plaintiffs’ website and web server will be compromised due to television fans attempting to find the ‘Tough Cookies’ television show website. Viewers will click on plaintiffs’ page or blog, but will quickly divert from the page upon learning that it does not belong to the television series. These quick visits will cause plaintiffs’ website and blog to lose priority in website searches.” Alleging federal trademark infringement and dilution, false designation of origin, violation of state trademark dilution and deceptive acts and practices laws, common-law trademark infringement and unfair competition, and reverse confusion, the plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, damages, disgorgement, treble damages, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, and costs.