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Summary:

The Village Voice is giving up on a scheme to force rivals to pay for permission to use the phrase “best of.”

New York City NYC
photo: Flickr / Joey Parsons

The Village Voice is giving up on a scheme to force rivals to pay for permission to use the phrase “best of.”

The one-time counter culture icon set off snorts of derision in November after it sued weekly magazine *Time* Out New York over its annual ‘best of’ issue.

Lawyers for the parties confirmed today that a settlement is imminent. The development comes two weeks after Time (NYSE: TWX) Out New York filed a counter-suit to strip Village Voice of its ‘Best of NYC’ trademark right on the grounds the term is: “merely descriptive, if not generic .. for lists of New York City’s best restaurants, movies, plays and things to do.”

Although the lawyers would not discuss details of the settlement, the move appears to be a capitulation for the Village Voice whose editor told Gothamist shortly after the suit was filed, “This might come as a shock to some people, but since October 26, 1955, the Village Voice has been a for-profit business. If you want to remain a for-profit business and someone steals from you, it is generally unwise to do nothing.”

Village Voice Media, which publishes about a dozen weekly newspapers, also owns other trademarks such as “Best of Dallas” and “Best of Denver.”

Here in New York, we’re betting the Village Voice is unlikely to appear on “best new business idea” lists anytime soon.

  1. Stick to reporting the facts Jeff Roberts #jeffroberts
    I thought the idea was to get paid for content… and should be the discussion here on PaidContent.org. Why the negative tone to a company that had the foresight to TM the “Best Of” phrase years ago. Seems fishy.

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