Leo Laporte Openly Defies Cease & Desist from Comcast-NBCUniversal

The Editorial Board at Total Drama has been on top of all the latest developments with The New Screen Savers. We’ve covered it with our prediction that the launch was imminent (source by Leo’s on-screen leaks via HipChat). We covered the leak of the trailer the day the announcement was to take place. And finally, we posted our post-announcement analysis of where TWiT is heading with the new show, complete with possible legal troubles over the trademark held previously by Comcast-NBCUniversal.

However, many of our regular commenters have asked for sources relating to the cease-and-desist letter TWiT received from Comcast-NBCUniversal lawyers attempting to protect their trademark. We had some people outright disbelieve us. The video below will disprove that notion.

Hilton A. Goring could not be reached for comment.
Hilton A. Goring could not be reached for comment.
We are not lawyers (we haven’t contacted LegalZoom either, which is not a law firm), and we can’t comment about the probable outcome of this legal matter. However, we don’t understand Leo Laporte openly taunting Comcast-NBCUniversal who #Soup at least acknowledges previously held the trademark. Wouldn’t it make a bit of sense to postpone the show until the legal matter is resolved?

Nope. That’s not the way #soup does things. He forges ahead, no matter what anyone else thinks.

When you watch this video, make sure to keep watching. About halfway through, Leo Laporte pontificates on whether his audience would pay his legal bill for him. No kidding. Really. It’s worth 4 minutes of your life.

We hope TWiT reconsiders, given that they are placing themselves in further legal peril and even acknowledge “That’s not going to fool the lawyers”, in the video. We imagine it won’t, since Comcast-NBCUniversal can afford much better lawyers than TWiT.

If Leo Laporte does actually spit in their face (legally speaking) and continues with the relaunch (oh wait it’s not a relaunch now) on Saturday, join us in our chat room to discuss the show with us.

33 thoughts on “Leo Laporte Openly Defies Cease & Desist from Comcast-NBCUniversal”

    1. No, TWit does not own the trademark. Not by a long stretch.

      TWiT has merely applied for the trademark.

      The application and approval process takes several months, sometimes even years (if opposition is raised). Attorneys working for the US Patent and Trademark Office will review the application in a few months and decide whether the application has merit. That’s a huge hurdle in itself.

      If the application is found to have merit, the application will then be published for opposition. If there is no opposition, the trademark will then be registered a short time thereafter.

      However, if there is opposition, the process will go into a review process that will add more months to the process. (And it already seems like there is opposition from Comcast-NBC.)

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      1. Actually, it’s kinda weird that NBC/Universal even cares. I have a copyright dispute over the 10th Anniversary TWIT because there was some old Scrren Savers footage. My dispute lies in FAIR use/ News coverage but primarily because YOUTUBE says that G4 ( a non-entity) is the one complaining.

        This is a non-issue and his CE-Ho knows enough that to get TWIT involved in anything that would cut off her cash cow. She’s incompetent but she likes her money from what I’ve seen.

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  1. If Leo actually believes Comcast-NBC Universal would send a Cease and Desist order without preparing to back it up, he truly is delusional. Under #Soup’s theory, he can relaunch any classic show by simply sticking the word “new” in front of it. I guess his next show will be “The New Wonderful World of Disney.” Disney wouldn’t have a problem with that.

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  2. he is a moron if he thinks just because he applied for the trademark means he would win a court case. technically the rights are probably considered in limbo if nbc abandoned it. and leo hast officially been granted the trademark yet . who is he kidding saying now were not bringing it back its a new show blah blah. you intro video even says were back. why would anyone be dumb enough to crowd fund that case. i can see crowd funding it to buy the rights but to fight his mess is insane.

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    1. “he is a moron if he thinks just because he applied for the trademark means he would win a court case.” Yes, if that is what he thinks, and if that is what he said, he would be a moron,

      But, he did NOT say that. What he said was that “they let it lapse”, and that is the point that will give him an arbitration win/

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  3. Leo says their set is nothing like the old TSS set, nothing!

    Except when the Shithouse was being built he constantly said they wanted to create the feel of the TSS set, I think even the set designer was the same guy.

    Honestly, this show doesn’t seem like it’s worth the trouble. Not to mention they’ve been canning shows left and right for not being sufficiently tech related only to rehash all the ideas back into the New Screensavers.

    This is a bad idea but clearly this has been Leo’s goal from the outset… he got canned from TechTV and his feelers were hurt. He tried with The Revenge of the Screensavers to avenge himself and failed and now a decade later he’s run into the exact same issue. Because he’s a baby and he can’t let a dumb name go.

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  4. Leo says it on air and thats your proof? I wouldn’t be surprised if it was all a marketing stunt. Hell, he now has a site dedicated to trolling him advertising his new show.

    Keep in mind, Leo has said many things on air… He didn’t fire Sarah, he didn’t cancel the giz wiz, etc. Etc. Etc. Now, all of a sudden, you are taking what he says on air as gospel?

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  5. I said this in another post but I still think it’s true. As TboneGreen mentioned, this is all a marketing stunt. He’s known from the very beginning that he won’t win, but he also knows he wouldn’t get any buzz for the new show if it were given any other name to start with.

    He’s using “The New Screensavers” to generate free publicity by hyping a phoney controversy, then in the 11th hour he’ll change the name knowing that people will have paid attention to what was going on, and then the viewership numbers will be higher early on because of it.

    Frankly this is one case where I think he’s brilliant because he’s building up free publicity simply by taking on “the man” by cashing in on a nostalgic name and forcing them to fight him so he can make a bigger deal out of it than it should be.

    Eventually tech sites will be writing articles about his legal dueling against the owners of the name. He’s making the machine work for him instead of against him.

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  6. From what I understand they are going to be sitting down most of the time on the show anyway. So what is so different. If they are going to do a screen savers show. It should be once a month with some of the old cast coming up to do that show. BYB should be canceled and put in to that show. It will not live up to the name.

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  7. Bottom line, the show is going suck regardless of what it is called. I’m personally hoping it is just painful to watch and gum is featured a lot.

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    1. Add TWiT needing money for legal fees plus CEO Lisa’s incredible marketing mind (need proof, have you seen those 10th anniversary flying off the shelves…) and I’m fairly certain you get Bricks 2.0. This time I’m guessing they’ll be virtual bricks, so basically you give them money and they give you shit.

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  8. Many of you and Leo do not know the history of NBC and what it thinks of the intellectual property IT OWNS. Ask David Letterman about this. He couldn’t use his own bits after he left.

    What Leo should have done was offer to BUY the show rights. But he didn’t. Now he is fucked.

    Letterman could not fight NBC. Leo thinks he can. Ha.

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    1. I think Leo did say they tried to get the name and all the previous tapes of The Screen Savers even offereing them a cut of profits and to pay them for the shows but they said no. Leo did try to get it.

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  9. I don’t think the new screen savers will be anything like the old screensavers. I loved the old Leo where he helped his fellow man and loved and enjoyed doing it. The man had a big heart. I remember the good ol’ days of watching the screen savers on tech tv and then turning the dial to watch reruns of The Uncle Floyd show. Those were the days

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  10. Well said krystina.

    In other news, Comcast is taking Google to court over the name “Chromecast”. Comcast says the name is a wee bit to close to theirs.

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  11. Jeff Jarvis is/was one of the hosts of TWiG – This Week in Google. Whether or not if it’s the real one, I don’t know, I’ve just found this website today, after I googled “TWiT gossip” (for the shits and giggles of course).

    His roody poo of an external brain of a chatroom can pay for his legal fees.

    I used to have the TWiT audio stream in the background in Windows Media Player/ iTunes a lot of the time. I then stopped listening to the shows that wasn’t relevant to me anymore, like when I moved over to Mac, I stopped listening to Windows Weekly. After Tom Merritt got fired, that’s when I really started to pick and choose shows.

    I knew Mike Elcum was a bore from previous episodes of TWiT he was on, but gave him the benefit of the doubt anyway, tuned in live, and it was a shitshow, so I binned TNT, and thought let’s see what Tom’s up to.

    I’ve been a TWiT listener since around 2007, not once have I:

    Gone into the chatroom
    Used any of their sponsors (most of them are U.S. only anyway)
    Bought a t-shirt/any other merchandise (shipping outside of the U.S. is ridiculous anyway)
    Visited the Brick Shithouse (did think about going though)
    Subscribed to any TWiT show on iTunes – I always listened live

    Leo Lapork will think “it’s fine, we don’t want listeners like you – fuck off”. Well, that’s okay with me, your network sucks arse anyway. I can get the same information from a fucking independent YouTuber who doesn’t have to Google answers on a Tech Guy show.

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  12. Leo is completely wrong, a Trademark does not officially lapse (automatically) until after 10 (TEN) years, not 8. Elo might be able to make a case their 8 yeas of non-use is the equivelant of lapsing, but that would cost him money.

    Wehre Leo would win is on the point of “confusion” – very few that followed TechTV/ZDTV will confuse Leo as being now part of NBC; they will most likey think of TNSS asTSS, which we havent seen in over 8 years. Not even re-runs.

    Re-runs of old tech, that might be stupid, but would hvae been NBC’s only reel/real defense against infringement.

    I would never confuse Leo with NBC nor any of its properties – this woont even go to trial. Leo would pay nothing but arb costs, and even then, in some arbs over IP, the losing side pays the winning side’s lawyer fees.

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