HomeVesters, a US house-flipping company, wants HGTV to change the name of its hit show Ugliest House in America, claiming the title is too close to its own brands, including the We Buy Ugly Houses campaign ” the company. HomeVesters claims the network ignored his requests and filed a lawsuit less than three weeks before the hit show’s third season was scheduled to begin.
HomeVesters is running an ugliest house of the year contest for franchisees
Hosted by comedian and actress Retta, “Ugliest House in America” has been a hit for HGTV since its debut in January 2022. A six-episode second season will air in the summer and a third season is scheduled to premiere on January 1, 2023.
On December 12, 2022, HomeVesters filed a lawsuit against HGTV’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, to “protect their intellectual property rights.” The company says the name of the HGTV show is “confusingly similar” and “almost identical” to the annual Ugliest House of the Year competition.
Each year, HomeVestor executives comb through before and after photos submitted by franchises across the United States. Each franchisee is trained by the company to buy and renovate “ugly” homes in their communities and resell them for profit. From the submitted photos of renovated houses, one winner will be chosen as the “ugliest house of the year”. The 2021 winner, announced in January, was an Orlando home filled with over five dumpsters full of trash, critters roaming free and a terrible stench. according to a press release.
HomeVesters admits its contest is “very different” from HGTV’s contest, which sees Retta touring oddly designed homes submitted by their owners who are hoping to get a $1,000 makeover from HGTV host and designer Alison Victoria $150,000 up for grabs.
In fact, the company’s press release shadows the competition for being different from theirs, saying it “mocks owners and their homes for odd design choices, often labeling the homes ‘hideous’ or ‘grotesque’.” The publication tries to further degrade the HGTV series by saying, “Most of the shows revolve around little more than making fun of houses and home design.”
“The nature of this television show is not consistent with HomeVestors’ values or brand identity,” the HomeVesters said, saying they are concerned that viewers may confuse HGTV’s “Ugliest House in America” with its 25-year-old brand.
According to HomeVesters, HGTV has ignored requests to change the show’s name
In its statement, the company said, “Because HGTV refused to respect HomeVestors’ trademark rights, despite repeated requests, HomeVestors was forced to file a lawsuit to prevent Warner Bros. Discovery from continuing to confuse the public and the associated goodwill.” to damage HomeVestors brand.”
HGTV and the show’s talent appear completely unfazed by the lawsuit and are moving forward with the promotion and airing of the next season. On December 15, Victoria shared several social media posts dedicated to the show, most of which Retta then shared in her stories.
The posts contain two photos of them together with the message “Guess who’s back!! #UgliestHouseinAmerica New Years Day!”
they also shared a promotional video from HGTV of Retta’s hilarious reactions to Victoria and another video of the two breaking down while trying to harmonize on a song. Over the first video, Victoria wrote, “God I love you.”
Meanwhile also Retta posted a video on her Instagram feed of her appearance on CBS’ The Talk earlier this year, when she shared a hilarious story about the Ugliest House contender, which she toured before realizing there were snakes inside.
In an unusual programming decision made weeks before the lawsuit was filed, HGTV will air the entire third season of “Ugliest House in America” in the first six days of the new year. The first hour-long episode will air January 1, 2023 at 8:00 p.m. EST, with additional episodes airing over the next four nights at the same time. Then, on January 6, the finale will air at 9 p.m. Eastern.
https://heavy.com/entertainment/hgtv/ugliest-house-in-america-trademark-lawsuit/ Popular HGTV show hit with lawsuit ahead of new season