Food Network has a hot lawsuit in the oven

The owner of the Food Network is pursuing millions of dollars from a company that has allegedly been selling a multimedia cookbook featuring segments from the popular cable channel. UPDATE: The lawsuit has been resolved. See below.

Scripps Networks claims in a new lawsuit that defendants miBook and Bruce Teicher have violated copyrights and trademarks. The miBook website lists several Scripps cable TV networks as "media partners," including Food Network, HGTV and the DIY Network. The company sells a handheld device that consumers can take with them to their kitchens as a cooking companion.

The owner of the Food Network is pursuing millions of dollars from a company that has allegedly been selling a multimedia cookbook featuring segments from the popular cable channel.

Scripps Networks claims in a new lawsuit that defendants miBook and Bruce Teicher have violated copyrights and trademarks. The miBook website lists several Scripps cable TV networks as "media partners," including Food Network, HGTV and the DIY Network. The company sells a handheld device that consumers can take with them to their kitchens as a cooking companion.

Scripps says it made a licensing deal with another company called Photoco, and pursuant to the agreement, it delivered 1000 full length episodes of its TV shows to the company.

Teicher was CEO of Photoco before he formed miBook. According to the complaint, Photoco had lost its line of credit and had liquidated its assets. Scripps says Teicher formed miBook in order to carry on in the device business, avoid creditors and shield himself from personal liability.

Scripps says it was never paid any royalties and it has no contractual relationship with miBook. It has sent cease-and-desist letters to no avail.

The cable TV giant now wants $2 million for each mark counterfeited or an amount representing three times damages or illicit profits.

Here's the complaint, filed by Brian Downey at Frost Brown Todd in Ohio District Court.

UPDATE:  The lawsuit was dismissed shortly after defendants filed a counterclaim accusing Scripps of interfering with the proper use of a license by a company spun-off from its parent. According to one of the defendants, the dispute was resolved amicably and to the satisfaction of all parties.

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