The Office Is Being Sued Because Of Dunder Mifflin

NBCUniversal is now enacting a lawsuit to get the rights of Dunder Mifflin back, as a company had trademarked the fake company some years ago.

By James Brizuela | Published

The Office

We know what you are thinking, the title of this article could certainly have been an episode of The Office. However, there is a real lawsuit happening between NBCUniversal and a company that registered the trademark for Dunder Mifflin some six years ago. This company is called Jay Kennette Media Group, which is the company being sued, and its owner, Jay Kennette. Within the parameters of the lawsuit, NBCUniversal is referring to this media group as a “trademark squatter” or a company that “built a business based on registering trademarks belonging to others.”

We know ridiculous it sounds to trademark a fake company that exists in a show, but the Jay Kennette Media Group is being accused of just that. The lawsuit claims that this media company buys trademarks that do not belong to them so that they may sell the trademark at a high price back to the original owners, or so that they can engage in consumer confusion by selling branded merchandise from TV shows, video games, and movies that they have no affiliation with whatsoever. NBCUniversal had apparently applied to trademark Dunder Mifflin back in 2020, but its application was denied due to the Jay Kennette Media Group owning the trademark. NBC will appeal the denial of that application as well.

The Jay Kennette Media Group had apparently registered the Dunder Mifflin name with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office six years ago, so they could market hoodies, jackets, shirts, and plenty of other apparel related to The Office. Now NBCUniversal is going after this company, to allow the trademark of the name to fall to them. They seek to have the Jay Kennette Media Group’s usage of the Dunder Mifflin name and to destroy all merchandise that has been using the Dunder Mifflin name. NBCU is also requesting that they be compensated with damages from the profit that has already been made off this merchandise. We are no law experts here, but this sounds like it’s going to be quite the legal battle, but NBCU might have some better lawyers at its disposal.

The Office became a cultural phenomenon when it was on the air from 2005 to 2013 on NBC. Even when Steve Carell exited the sitcom, it was still massively popular. The show is based on a UK series of the same name that was created by Ricky Gervais. The U.S. released its own version, which starred Carell, John Krasinksi, Jenna Fischer, and Rainn Wilson. The series helped launched the careers of Krasinski and Fischer. Everyone wanted these people to succeed at Dunder Mifflin, and everyone tuned in every week to see that happen. It is a shame that NBCU now must fight to get this trademark back.

The Office still continues to be popular, and fans have been clamoring for a revival or reunion to happen. Everyone at Dunder Mifflin was great, and we would love to see a reunion special happen at some point in the future. However, this lawsuit might have to end before that can happen, as the name of Dunder Mifflin likely couldn’t be used on TV without NBC owning the rights to the name.