A Tennessee charity that sends young adults to high schools to inspire students is in a dispute with Viacom over its name, AP reports.
Viacom contends that the charity's name, Love in the Real World, is too similar to its Real World reality series. ''We feel they've picked us out because we're the weakest link,'' Peter Batarseh, who runs the non-profit Love in the Real World, told AP. ''It's almost like MTV fights character education.''
The dispute is set to be heard in September by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in Arlington, Va. The final day of the legal discovery period was Wednesday. Love in the Real World was founded in 1996, and the name dispute began when the charity filed for trademark protection. Viacom objected, arguing, ''The Real World mark is famous ... and subsequent use of a virtually identical mark will dilute (its) mark by blurring and tarnishment.''
The Tennessee group contends that ''Real World'' is used by more than 100 companies, 53 of them registered for trademarks. And Batarseh wants to use the term ''Love in the Real World'' on his organization's cassettes, CDs and clothing.