You might remember the name "Desilu" — the name given to the television production company founded by the then-married couple of Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball, stars of the iconic television series, 'I Love Lucy.' The company is credited with developing the linked multifilm camera setup that became the standard for filming television sitcoms. It produced classic TV sitcoms like That Girl, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Family Affair, and Hogan's Heroes.
After being sold in 1967 to Gulf & Western Industries, the parent company of Paramount Pictures, the company known as "Desilu" was dissolved and operated as Paramount Television. The complete Desilu library is now owned by CBS.
In a legal filing this week, Desilu Studios, Inc., operated by Charles Hensley, claims that Paramount filed trademark applications for 16 Desilu trademarks between 1997 and 2001 on an “intent-to-use basis” that were then "abandoned before being used in interstate commerce." Hensley had plans to relaunch Desilu Studios when, according to TMZ, he filed a trademark application in October 2016 for the name, which was approved by the USPTO in January 2018.
Hensley says he had been in contact with the Arnaz's daughter, Lucie, for support for the relaunch, but claims that CBS interfered in the talks. He alleges "that CBS contacted Ms. Arnaz after learning about her developing relationship with Desilu, and instructed her not to have any further conversations with Desilu regarding the same."
Now Hensley is suing CBS over use of the Desilu name and image and asking the court to rule on the ownership of the Desilu trademark, claiming that CBS' activities have caused his company "irreparable injury."
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