Harvard Responds to Corus on POWER Branding

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Harvard Responds to Corus on POWER Branding

Postby jon » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:10 am

POWER 107 parent company fires back at copyright infringement claims
Jonny Wakefield
Edmonton Journal
Updated: November 6, 2019

The company that owns Edmonton’s POWER 107 pop hits station is firing back at broadcasting giant Corus, saying it in no way infringed its copyrights.

Corus sued POWER 107 parent company Harvard Broadcasting in September, claiming POWER 107 ripped off its popular POWER 92 brand. The case is expected to head to court this Friday.

Corus claimed Calgary-based Harvard appropriated branding from the former radio station, which rebranded in the early 2000s and now broadcasts as 92.5 The Chuck. It says Harvard did so to cash in on nostalgia for the POWER 92 brand.

“Not only does the POWER 107 logo reflect the look and feel of the POWER 92 logo, but Harvard states in some materials, and implies in others, that POWER 107 is either a revival of, or is a radio station somehow related to, the former POWER 92,” Corus’s statement of claim says.

The company is seeking a court injunction ordering Harvard to turn over or destroy its POWER 107 signage, marketing materials and even its internet domain name.

But in a 58-page statement of defence filed Oct. 23, Harvard says Corus has no valid claim to the POWER brand.

“Goodwill in a radio station attaches to its current name, logo, slogans, and, most importantly, its associated music format,” the defence statement says. “Long-defunct, discarded and unused names and logo designs have no residual goodwill.”

“The current iteration of the plaintiffs’ Edmonton radio station could revert back to using a ‘Power 92’ name and logo design, but if it played its current music format, the station would still be at the bottom of the ratings.”

Harvard rebranded its Edmonton station to POWER 107 in August. It claims it was in the clear to do so as Corus abandoned its claims to the POWER brand over 16 years ago. Harvard further claims Corus allowed their trademark on POWER 92 to be expunged in 2015.

The defence statement alleges Corus is seeking the court’s protection over its former brand despite changing the station’s name three times and its music format four times.

“The most recent iteration of the plaintiffs’ Edmonton radio station was launched in August 2018 and has languished at or near the bottom of the ratings in listening audience since its inception,” the defence statement says.

“Since the launch of Harvard’s ‘Power 107′ station … the plaintiffs’ Edmonton radio station has not lost any listener audience to Harvard’s station or any advertising revenues relative to its budgeted expectations. The Plaintiffs’ Edmonton radio station has remained at the bottom of the rankings.”

Harvard also points out there are multiple logos in the Canadian radio market similar to the defunct POWER 92 symbol, and notes it includes its own corporate branding on all marketing materials and announces station ownership every hour on air.

Statements of claim and defence contain allegations not proven in court. Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Nancy Dilts is expected to hear Corus’s injunction request in Calgary this Friday.

ref. - https://edmontonjournal.com/news/local- ... ent-claims

Original article/post about Corus: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=33767
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Re: Harvard Responds to Corus on POWER Branding

Postby freqfreak2 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:23 am

The saga has also been updated somewhat by CTV (owned by Bell Media, owners of The Bear, Virgin Radio, and TSN 1260 in Edmonton).

Appended to the original story ...

TRADEMARK DISPUTE

Harvard successfully filed and formalized federal trademarks for POWER 107.1 FM design and subsequent logo.

POWER 107 was also the Calgary-based sister station of Edmonton's POWER 92. Corus was the owner of the POWER 107 trademark, but the ownership was inactivated in May of 2015 after it wasn't renewed, according to the Canadian Trademarks Database.

Similarly, the POWER 92 was first filed in 1998 by Corus but was expunged from the trademarks database in April of 2015 after a failure to renew.

Both the POWER 107 and POWER 92 word trademarks were the subject of separate complaints from Bata Industries and Rogers Broadcasting, both in 1999.

The POWER 92 logo, including a 'Today's Best Music' catchphrase at the bottom, has been registered since 1999. Unlike the word-based trademarks, the logo registry remains active and isn't scheduled to expire until 2033. It was last renewed in June of last year.

LEGAL DEMANDS

The Corus injunction seeks to ban Harvard from using the POWER 107 name or any name that includes POWER.

Corus is also demanding Harvard cancel or cease the use of the domain name http://www.power107.ca

A spokesperson for Harvard says Corus has abandoned the "Power 92" word trademark, and abandoned the design trademark.

"By way of a Statement of Defence filed last month, Harvard Broadcasting "denies each of the allegations contained in Corus' Claim and denies that Corus is entitled to any of the relief sought". Harvard Broadcasting's Statement of Defence alleges that it "has not infringed on any validly registered trademarks" held by Corus and that, in 2006, in the face of opposition, Corus withdrew an unsuccessful attempt to register a trademark over the word "Power" in the Canadian Trademarks Registry. Harvard's Statement of Defence further alleges that, by its abandonment of the "Power 92" word trademark in 2003 (expunged in 2015), and the abandonment of the "Power 92" design trademark in 2003, Corus maintains no rights to or interest in these trademarks," said Christian Hall, National Program Manager for Harvard Broadcasting in an email to CTV News Edmonton.

A spokesperson for Corus said Corus is unable to comment because the matter is before the courts.

The case will be heard in Calgary Court of Queen’s Bench on Nov. 8.


Let us not forget what Corus did in Edmonton 2008, two weeks ahead of CRTC hearings at which Rogers was scheduled to apply for an all news station in that city.

Corus flipped CHQT Cool 880s (their oldies station) to iNews 880 (all news) and the iNews website featured an hourly newswheel that was virtually identical to Rogers' 660 News newswheel - including timing points and the easily identifiable Rogers green colour.

As a result of the Corus flip, Rogers was denied their application ... and Edmontonians were denied diversity in news coverage.

What Corus is trying to exert is the same type of covenant that Safeway has been notorious for: you can buy our abandoned buildings but you can't operate a food store in it.

The honchos at Corus should re-think their strategy, and instead of paying for lawyers, they should shell out money where it truly matters: on air talent.
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Re: Harvard Responds to Corus on POWER Branding

Postby Rocky » Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:55 pm

freqfreak2 wrote:
The honchos at Corus should re-think their strategy, and instead of paying for lawyers, they should shell out money where it truly matters: on air talent.


You stole the words out of my mouth freq. Compared to the talent the Corus News/Talk stations had not that long ago, it has become a joke. The latest trick of replacing retiring Morning show pros with "high profile" aging TV news anchors is also a joke. Rather than giving these people a good payout, they move them to a co-owned AM News/Talk station to work out their contract and then they suddenly retire.

Sorry kids, there will be no Christmas bonuses or party this year, the company spent that money on a frivolous lawsuit that they lost.

I don't recall Corus kicking up a fuss when they blew up the hugely successful Power 107 in Calgary and replaced it with the ratings challenged PEAK 107 and then Pattison came on the air a few years later with THE PEAK.
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Re: Harvard Responds to Corus on POWER Branding

Postby yoshi » Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:08 pm

Winnipeg’s CJKR is POWER 97.5
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