Last month, during the annual drop of the Oregonian's Diner restaurant guide, WWeek got clever and released its own Diner of sorts — noting "Diner 2013: It's the best name for a series about Portland diners published in 2013." And the Oregonian isn't laughing: last night, WWeek publisher Richard Meeker published a cease and desist letter sent by the Oregonian lawyers. The document argues that the Diner spoof represents unauthorized use of the publication's "Diner" trademark: "The overlap in subject matter, and context, together with the usage of the identical name "DINER 2013" is not only likely to cause confusion, but also will dilute and diminish the goodwill in our client's mark."
Meeker published his own response to the cease and desist:
"We sought to make fun in a couple of ways — to suggest your client has lowered the bar a bit with changes it's made to restaurant coverage in recent years and to spoof the generic nature of the title of your client's guide."