Yelp Sued Over “Best Of” City Recommendations

    October 29, 2012
    Josh Wolford
    Comments are off for this post.

If you’re a Yelp user, you’re probably familiar with their “Best of” feature that appears at the top of city pages. For instance, visiting Yelp’s Denver page gives users a best of snapshot complete with restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and various other categories of services.

That “Best of” box is now the subject of a new lawsuit. Village Voice Media Holdings, the once-publishers of alternative weekly newspaper The Village Voice as well as well as other papers in Denver, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Seattle, and more, has filed a suit against Yelp. They claim that Yelp is willingly infringing upon their trademarked “Best of” marks and “taking advantage of Village Voice Media’s goodwill and valuable reputation.”

Village Voice Media is seeking damages and a permanent injunction against Yelp, barring them from using the “Best of” phrase on their site.

VVMH does have over a dozen registrations for various “best of”s, for instance “Best of Denver,” “Best of Houston,” “Best of Phoenix,” and “Best of San Francisco.” In all, they cite 18 different trademarks covering 10 different cities. These registrations were made starting back in 1997, up until 2012.

According to Paid Content, this isn’t the first time Village Voice Media Holdings has gone after an entity for the use of “Best of.” Last year, they took on the Time Out New York magazine for their publication of a “best of NYC” issue. VVMH was hit with a countersuit, which claimed that the phrase “Best of” is generic.

You can check out the full lawsuit below:

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  • Guss

    Jeremy Stoppelman CEO of Yelp.com is a real winner. Well, no, not really. This man runs a company that not only thrives on negative attention, but refuses to respond to legitimate concerns.

    I am not sure how he can sleep at night knowing that he is running such a joke of a company.

  • http://www.unyelpme.com/ shane watson

    i feel really pity for the best portal which is not hand;ling the issues properly it should be dragged down asap

  • http://www.healthcaremarketingcoe.com/doctor_reputation_management/ Simon Sikorski MD

    The only trademark infringement I see is Yelp’s use of the business name in the URL and pages, thus effectively competing for the trademark on Google and other search engines.

    A lot of doctors are greatly affected by this, especially ones that do not have their own websites or their hospitals have not created profiles for them on their own sites.

    Who gives ratings sites the right to compete for business names? Ratings sites are NOT a public service, they are advertising platforms for paying advertisers who are displayed on businesses that are publicly shamed (while the reviews themselves cannot be verified as true and valid)