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Business Media Brands Battling for ‘C-Suite’ Trademark Right

Variety logo Variety 3/18/2017 Gene Maddaus
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Rival business brands are heading to court to determine which has the right to use the term “C-Suite.”

C-Suite Media, the L.A.-based company that publishes “C-Suite Quarterly,” has filed a federal trademark infringement suit against C-Suite Network. Both pitch themselves as multi-platform media companies, with conferences and content aimed at high-level business executives.

C-Suite Media, the magazine publisher, alleges that C-Suite Network — which operates C-Suite TV, C-Suite Radio, C-Suite Academy and C-Suite Book Club — recently crossed the line by getting into the advisory business. In its lawsuit, the L.A. company says it registered the trademark for C-Suite Advisory in 2015, and has been using the term C-Suite Advisors to refer to business executives who contribute columns in the magazine since 2010.

C-Suite Network, which has an address in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, as well as offices in New York, began offering an advisory service under that name in 2016, according to the suit.

Jeff Hayzlett, chairman and co-founder of C-Suite Network, dismissed the allegations in an interview with Variety.

“It’s hard to have trademark infringement when I own the URL, the Twitter account, the Facebook account, and every other social media account related to that name,” he said. “I appreciate they’re a nice local magazine, but we’ve been operating this on a much larger scale for quite a while.”

C-Suite Media declined to comment beyond the claims in the lawsuit. On its website, C-Suite Media bills itself as “the luxury lifestyle brand and community for Los Angeles’s Billionaire Changemakers, C-Suite Visionaries, NextGen Entrepreneurs, Executive Advisors and those aspiring to that level of success and influence.”

Hayzlett said that no one has ever confused his C-Suite brand with the quarterly magazine, and that it would be hard to trademark such a ubiquitous term.

“It’s a commonly used name,” he said. “There has been a C-Suite Advisors since the beginning of the internet. This has never been raised. They have a nice local magazine. They seem like nice people, up until now.”

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