According to a report in Variety, ExxonMobil has filed suit against Fox’s FXX Network claiming the network’s interlocking X logo infringes upon Exxon’s logo. The lawsuit was filed October 1 in the U.S. District Court in Houston. Exxon filed the suit only after it contacted the network and asked it to take down and discontinue using the logo. However, according to Exxon, FXX refused its request.
On the surface, Exxon and FXX could not be more different. Exxon is a multinational oil and gas corporation, and FXX is a recently launched cable channel that is a sister network of Fox’s FX, both of which are owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., according to the Los Angeles Times.
“It is unfathomable that a consumer would confuse Exxon’s logo, from the world’s largest oil and gas company, with FXX, the new network that brings viewers such award-winning original television as ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ and ‘The League,’ to name a few,” FXX said in a statement. “We are confident that viewers won’t tune into FXX looking for gas or motor oil and drivers won’t pull up to an Exxon pump station expecting to get ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.’”
Exxon, however, alleges that the similarities of the logos could actually cause confusion amongst consumers, who could mistakenly conclude that Exxon and FXX are somehow affiliated. In addition, because of the possible confusion FXX’s use of the logo could cause consumers, Exxon claims that FXX is in violation of the Lanham Act, which governs trademark law. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Exxon has had a design mark on its logo and has continuously used it since 1971.
“[The] public associates the interlocking Xs with ‘Exxon’ and ‘ExxonMobil,’ and they represent a valuable part of our branding,” a spokesperson for ExxonMobil said in a statement. “ExxonMobil has protected its interlocking-X designs with numerous trademark registrations, and has been using its interlocking Xs both alone and as part of ExxonMobil’s distinctive family of ‘Exxon’ and ‘ExxonMobil’ marks for decades.”
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