LOS ANGELES — Amazon Inc. has been sued by adult entertainment company FyreTV for allegedly appropriating its trade name to sell Amazon's new set-top box, Fire TV.
Fyre TV, initially launched as IPTV set-top box in 2008 by Guatemalan business entrepreneur Rodrigo Franco, offers 15,000-plus adult films from more than 100 studios on web and Roku, among other third-party set-top boxes.
Amazon's Fire TV, marketed primarily through Amazon.com and direct links from its site, is a tiny box launched last month that connects to an HDTV. Amazon boasts on its site that Fire TV is "the easiest way to enjoy Netflix, Prime Instant Video, Hulu Plus, low-cost movie rentals, and much more."
Wreal, the Florida-based company behind FyreTV, said in a suit that Amazon's acts to appropriate the phonetically similar name were “knowing, deliberate and willful.”
FyreTV, started up in 2008, has a trademark and is registered for the “Fyre TV” mark for use in telecommunications via a set-top box, like Amazon’s.
“Amazon's use of the name ‘Fire TV,” which is in effect identical or substantially similar to Wreal's FyreTV and FyreTV.com marks, is without the permission, consent or authorization of Wreal,” the suit said.
“As a consequence of Amazon's actions, consumer confusion, in the form of reverse confusion has occurred, and will inevitably continue to occur, absent an injunction.
“In sum, Amazon knew, or should have known, that the FyreTV and FyreTV.com marks were federally registered trademarks, and that they were in use by Wreal at the time that Amazon was deciding what to name its set-top box product. The fact that Amazon chose the blatantly infringing Fire TV name leads to the necessary conclusion that Amazon infringed on Wreal's marks knowingly, deliberately, and willfully.”
Wreal attorneys noted that Amazon reported that its just-launched Fire TV product is sold out due to its “unexpected high demand.”
“One industry analyst suggested that Amazon will sell 5.8 million Fire TVs in the U.S in 2014 alone,” the suit said. “Because Amazon's Fire TV retails at $99, Amazon should receive approximately $58 million in revenue from hardware sales of its Fire TV alone.”
The infringement suit, filed in federal court in Miami, seeks damages, injunctive relief and attorneys fees.