Indiana company that started as a meetup group says popular media site infringes its trademarks.
An Indiana company has sued (pdf) Vox Media, publisher of the popular websites The Verge and Re/Code, claiming that the company is infringing its trademark for the term “Verge”.
Indy Founders, LLC started a meetup group for entrepreneurs in 2011 and filed a trademark application that same year. It wasn’t a big group; the specimen submitted with its trademark application was a screenshot of its Facebook page with just 368 fans.
Vox Media’s The Verge launched at TheVerge.com later that year.
Indy Founders’ trademark application said it was for “Association services, namely, promoting the interests of entrepreneurs and developers”. But since then it has expanded to be a resource for entrepreneurs outside of Indiana. In 2014 it registered VergeHQ.com and started using it to promote its service.
It now claims common law trademark rights for “Verge” outside of its original trademark application, including for online publications and blogs.
Among Indy Founders’ demands in its lawsuit is that The Verge hand over its TheVerge.com domain name.