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Paxson Sued Over New Name

A San Pedro, Calif.-based content firm is suing the company formerly known as Paxson Communications Corp. over the use of the latter's name change.

Positive Ions Inc., which produces sports and entertainment fare for the Internet, has filed a complaint for trademark infringement for Paxson's use of the Ion Media Networks moniker.

The defendant did not return calls by press time.

The suit -- filed March 29 in the United States District Court, Northern District of California, San Jose division -- seeks to enjoin Paxson and its various affiliated companies from using the Ion Media Networks names, as well as the ION stock-ticker symbol. Paxson -- which is currently doing business under the aforementioned name, pending stockholder approval at its annual meeting June 23 -- is now trading under the ION symbol.

The lawsuit stated that Positive Ions -- which operates “ionNetwork,” a group of Web-based multimedia channels under such headings as “ionSports” and “ionTelevision,” among others -- registered ION as a trademark Jan. 13, 2004.

The suit, among other things, seeks the destruction of all materials bearing the Ion Media Networks name; that the court award the plaintiff a substantial percentage of Paxson's advertising budget for corrective advertising; treble damages for profits the defendant has derived from the name change; and that the court treble the amount of damages the plaintiff has incurred with the name change.

Last Friday, DirecTV Inc. said it extended its agreement to continue carrying Paxson's TV stations for another week. The DBS leader had filed a suit of its own against Paxson in January over the programming changes it is making to i: Independent Television, formerly Pax TV, claiming that they violated the content provisions of their affiliation agreement.

DirecTV carries both Paxson TV stations and PaxNet, a stand-alone national channel that airs Pax TV.