Mt. Vernon Register-News

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March 14, 2010

Treasure Hunters Roadshow facing lawsuit

By KANDACE MCCOY

kandace.mccoy@register-news.com

MT. VERNON — A federal lawsuit has been filed in Illinois by WGBH against the Treasure Hunters Roadshow, which is slated make an appearance in the King City starting tomorrow.

The WGBH Educational Foundation is the company which produces the Public Broadcasting Station series, “Antiques Roadshow.” The lawsuit, filed two weeks ago, names Jeff Parsons and THR & Associates — Parson’s company which does business and event shows under the name of the “Treasure Hunters Roadshow,” “Antique Treasure Hunters Roadshow,” and “Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery,” among other entities as defendants.

WGBH is accusing the company of violating its trademark and participating in unfair competition and unfair business practices in violation of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

According to the lawsuit, a trademark infringement is ongoing with the continued use of the word, “Roadshow” in “Treasure Hunters Roadshow” as well as use of a treasure chest logo which closely resembles the logo of the Antiques Road Show, WGBH’s production and product. WGBH claims Parsons and his companies are misusing the names and logo to benefit from the “recognition and good will” as well as the reputation and fame which has been established by the WGBH Antiques Roadshow.

The lawsuit alleges Parsons and his companies’ “willfulness and bad faith are amply evidenced by their prior knowledge of (WGBH’s) rights and clearly are intended to lure consumers to (their) events and to commercially benefit from WGBH’s goodwill.”

This is not the first time WGBH and Parsons have butted heads in court over Parson’s use of the “Roadshow” moniker. In June 1999, WGBH filed a civil action lawsuit against Parsons and the International Toy Collectors Association, the precursor of THR & Associates. The complaint was settled out of court with the ITCA agreeing not to use the term “Roadshow” any longer.

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