The Baton Rouge publisher of “225” magazine filed a federal service-mark infringement lawsuit Monday against a rival company alleged to have published “Best in 225” in print and on the Internet.
The suit by Louisiana Business Inc. against BR Business Profile Directory LLC is assigned to U.S. District Judge Frank J. Polozola.
Johnny DeAngelo, registered as a partner in BR Business Profile Directory, said “225 is not an exclusive deal, as they (LBI officials) want to believe.
“We’ve never attempted in any way, shape or form to pose ourselves as the (225) magazine,” DeAngelo added.
Julio Melara and Rolfe McCollister Jr., both of Baton Rouge, and New Orleans resident Mike Eckstein are registered with the Louisiana secretary of state as directors of LBI.
BRBPD “has sold or has offered for sale advertisements and sponsorships for its print and Internet content under the ‘Best in 225’ name,” LBI alleged in its suit.
The website for BRBPD, www.bestin225.com, noted Monday: “Our print publication (is) entitled ‘EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT.’ ”
The website also stated: “If you would like to advertise or have the Best in 225 publication in your business, contact Johnny DeAngelo, 225.205.1027.”
LBI asks Polozola for a permanent injunction prohibiting BRBPD from using the 225 trade and service marks. The magazine publisher also asks for any profits BRBPD has received from use of those marks.
“ ‘Extra, Read All About It,’ ” I put that out for free,” DeAngelo said. “It’s a free paper, and we do not charge any advertisers.”
Added DeAngelo: “I think their lawsuit is totally without merit. I don’t think they (LBI) can claim 225” as exclusively theirs. “None of my (online) advertisers has ever thought for half a second that they were getting involved with ‘225’ magazine,” DeAngelo said.