About a year ago, Naomi Bulochnikov, a publicist for Current TV’s Bill Press Show, started a website called ThatsNotOkayNY.com with two close friends. The site is legally trademarked and in the process of being formally registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The writers have day jobs. Much to their surprise, it was a passion side gig that took off — they have a scripted project in the works with Grammnet, Kelsey Grammer‘s production company. They registered the name for the TV show and will do the same for the website. That’sNotOkayNY.com launched on Dec. 8, 2010. See the Thrillist writeup.

But about two months ago, Bulochnikov noticed that the behemoth snark site Gawker started an advice column called “Thatz Not Okay.” Gee how original. Swap a “z” for an “s” and there you have possibly avoided a lawsuit and come up with something ingenious: In other words, someone else’s idea.

“Blatant theft bothers me,” Bulochnikov told FishbowlDC, adding that she had spoken with an attorney who explained that if it “creates confusion” and they can prove so, then it infringes on their trademark and they can legally sue. “If they liked the idea so much they should’ve come to us. Just because they’re Gawker doesn’t mean they can run renegade on someone else’s idea.”

Gawker could face legal ramifications… Read more