Gray Media Group, the parent company of KMOV (Channel 4), filed suit last week against competitor KSDK (Channel 5) arguing it had violated a trademark by debuting a new weather brand featuring the phrase “Weather First Alert” just two months after KMOV began using “First Alert Weather” in its coverage of severe weather.
“Rather than compete fairly on their own merit, defendants have engaged in a blatant pattern of willful, deliberate infringement in order to wrongfully benefit from the goodwill that Gray has built up in connection with the FIRST ALERT WEATHER mark,” the suit says.
In 2006, Gray Media Group’s predecessor, Raycom Media Inc. registered a trademark for the phrase First Alert Weather. The company purchased KMOV in 2021. In August 2022, Channel 4 rolled out a logo and branding for “First Alert Weather” in the St. Louis area.
Then, in October 2022, KSDK “suddenly debuted a new weather brand,” which included the phrase “Weather First” next to the term “Alert,” the suit says. KSDK had previously used the term “5 on Your Side Weather.”
KMOV first alerted KSDK of the alleged breach last year, but they could not negotiate an agreement, according to the suit.
As recently as July 29 during a thunderstorm, KSDK published an article and app update with the phrase the suit argues was taken verbatim from KMOV: “First Alert Weather.”
Gray Media Co. is seeking to stop KSDK from using “First Alert Weather” or any other “confusingly similar” combination of words, and it is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.
Neither a representative for KSDK nor Tegna, its parent company, immediately responded to requests for comment Monday.