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Current Currently Being Sued

2/23/2006 5:54 AM Eastern

Current TV, former Vice President Al Gore’s cable network, is facing a second lawsuit over its name.

Minnesota Public Radio is suing Current TV, which Gore cofounded with the backing of a group of investors. MPR has a music station called The Current, which broadcasts on two radio frequencies in Minneapolis and is also available on the Internet.

In its suit, MPR alleged that the similarity in names between Gore’s network and MPR’s outlet is causing confusion among consumers.

MPR claimed that Current TV, once known as INdTV, changed its name after MPR applied to register “The Current” as a trademark.

Current TV has also been sued, in federal court, by broadband-over-power-line company Current Communications Services LLC over their similar names.

Gore’s network, which claimed that there was no confusion in the case of Current Communications, issued a statement making a similar argument in response to the latest suit.

“There are more than 300 businesses in the U.S. using the word ‘current’ in their name,” the statement said, “Current TV is in the business of producing and distributing television nationwide. Minnesota Public Radio has a regional radio program it refers to as The Current. We know of no consumers who confuse us with Minnesota Public Radio, and we can’t imagine that anybody ever would. Minnesota Public Radio’s allegations are utterly without merit, and we intend to vigorously defend our right to our trademark.”

September