The title of a one-hour special on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) debuting Saturday night has got a producer working with a chicken wing entrepreneur steaming hot.
OWN's show is titled Wingmen and features two best friends from Columbia, South Carolina and their small-town food truck business selling stuffed chicken wings.
This has prompted a trademark lawsuit from Rags to Rick Productions, which is involved in an online reality TV show titled Wing-Men featuring the life of Rick Smiciklas, described "an entrepreneur with little to his name when he opened his first chicken wing restaurant in 1999, who now owns a chain of chicken wing restaurants with over 100 locations."
The pilot of Wing-Men premiered on Dec. 5, with supposedly more episodes to come.
But the bucket isn't big enough.
Rags to Rick says it owns trademarks in Canada for both "Wingmen" and "Wing-men" and has filed applications in the United States. The filings are in the entertainment category.
According to the complaint filed in Illinois federal court , "OWN's use of the title WINGMEN for the OWN Program, and use of the WINGMEN mark to promote same, is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among members of the public given that both the OWN Program and the Productions Program Series are programs featuring the antics of entrepreneurs in the chicken wing business."
Although the complaint probably comes too late to stop the show, the plaintiff demands that the judge be a wing-man and issue an injunction. Read the complaint here.
A spokesperson for the network says it hasn't been served with the lawsuit yet.
The food genre of TV shows appears to cook up these types of trademark lawsuits every once in a while. Past lawsuits involved TLC's Cake Boss and Food Network's Tough Cookies.
Email: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com> Twitter: @eriqgardner
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