Business Review claims trademark infringement

The publisher of the Albany Business Review is suing a company called Capital Business Review and th

The publisher of the Albany Business Review is suing a company called Capital Business Review and the people who registered websites under that name and a similar name, citing trademark infringement and unfair competition, among other things.

American City Business Journals, a Charlotte, North Carolina, company that publishes the Albany Business Review and business publications in 42 other cities across the country, says the websites not only used the “Business Review” trademark and service mark, but also imitated the mark in color and style on its websites in an effort to ride its coattails.

In a complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, the publisher names Capital Business Review LLC, Anthony Troia of Clifton Park, and Lisbeth Calandrino of Albany, as defendants. Troia and Calandrino are listed as the people who created the domain names.

It’s unclear exactly what services Capital Business Review and its affiliate, Schenectady Business Review, provided. Their websites and Facebook pages were removed Thursday after a Daily Gazette reporter called the company asking for comment. But screen grabs of the websites show links to area businesses and a claim that the company is “the Capital Region’s premier business-listing directory and reviews site.” The sites offer website design services, including search engine optimization, Facebook advertising and customer review optimization.

The Albany Business Review and its parent company learned about the websites in January, and had lawyers send a cease-and-desist letter to the limited liability company, according to the complaint. A day later, they received a letter from the company’s attorney — Edward J. Grogan III of Clifton Park — stating the secretary of state of New York had accepted their use of the name and that they weren’t infringing on the company’s rights. The two sides had some back and forth over the next month, but the websites remained up and active.

The Albany Business Review has been around in some form or another since at least 1974, the complaint says. It was originally called the Capital District Business Review. In 2001, American City Business Journals registered “The Business Review” as both a trademark and service mark (one is used to brand a product, the other a service). Over the years, the Business Review has grown to offer websites with daily news updates for each region it covers, in addition to its weekly print product.

Attempts to reach Troia were unsuccessful Thursday. Calandrino, the Albany woman who the complaint says registered the Capital Business Review domain name and handled its activities, said she’s “not really involved with them anymore” and didn’t know anything about the company. When asked how she was previously involved with the company, she said she wasn’t and declined to comment further.

Grogan, the attorney listed for Capital Business Review in legal documents, declined to comment Thursday.

Categories: Business, News, Schenectady County

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