Ions Clash in Trademark Dispute

The broadcaster Ion Media Networks and a small California media firm called Positive Ions, Inc. are locked up in a legal fight as to who deserves the “iON” trademark. 

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board entered judgment against Ion Media Networks, formerly Paxson Communications, when Ion Media reportedly applied for the trademark “iON” in connection with uses such as broadcasting and distribution of cable TV services. Positive Ions opposed the application.

Ion Media claims it voluntarily abandoned its trademark application for a number of marks, including "iON," and says the judgment entered by the Trademark Board is "the ordinary and routine procedure by which Ion Media's voluntary abandonment of these marks was processed."

Positive Ions, which calls itself “a strategic brand, business development, media and marketing company,” claims to own and operate 1,500 “Channels” on the Web.

Ion Media introduced the phrase “What’s Your ION?” earlier this year, while Positive Ions employs the tagline “What Do You Have Your ION?” 

Both parties use “Ion Television” to describe their holdings.

A trademark infringement suit is reportedly set for trial November 13 in federal court in Los Angeles.

Neither party offered a comment.

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.