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Battle Between the Spectators


March 9, 2021

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The American Spectator Foundation, which is behind The American Spectator, a conservative digital magazine, is suing the world’s oldest English-language magazine, The Spectator, for trademark infringement.


As reported by Axios, the lawsuit follows the British magazine's entry into the American digital market. Spectator Ltd., which runs The Spectator, has been selling the U.K. magazine in the U.S. for over 100 years, but it launched its U.S. digital website in 2018, followed by its U.S. print version of the magazine in 2019.


The American Spectator Foundation is seeking relief in the form of damages caused by the branding confusion, among other things.


The lawsuit states that, while Spectator Ltd. knew about “The American Spectator” mark and its use in the United States for decades, it nevertheless “elected to enter the U.S. market with a competing magazine and website under the confusingly similar marks Spectator USA, The Spectator U.S. Edition, and The Spectator”.


The magazines do not have similar content and The Spectator has expressed its surprise that The American Spectator has taken legal action, considering the outlets had a supposedly amicable relationship up until this lawsuit.

Authors: Brennan Caldwell and Meghan King

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