9:18am PT by Eriq Gardner
CNN Sues Haiti Broadcaster for Using 'HLN' Trademark
CNN is picking a fight with a broadcaster from troubled Haiti over its choice of acronym. The cable news giant has filed a trademark suit against Haiti Live Networks, claiming that CNN already holds domain over "HLN" for its Headline News network.
Haiti Live Networks operates a website that describes its programming as the "first Network to broadcast live TV signals from Haiti to customers in markets outside the country 24 hours a day and 7 days a week."
CNN has doubts whether Haiti Live Networks was established in good faith. According to a complaint filed late last week in Georgia federal court, CNN says the domain name, HLNTV.com, as well as an affiliated Twitter feed, were registered with the intention to profit by creating confusion in the marketplace. CNN alleges the "deception" caused by use of a HLN logo is causing "irreparable harm" to its HLN brand.
CNN is suing for trademark infringement, unfair competition, and cybersquatting, and demanding profits, attorney's fees, punitive damages, and an order that the domain name be transferred.
CNN's HLN has been airing since 1982 with a couple name changes, and currently averages just over 200,000 viewers daily.