The Feud: The Village Voice vs. Yelp

The newspaper tried suing Yelp over the use of "best of." Then another publication stepped in.


The conflict: The Village Voice publisher is suing Yelp over what it claims is unauthorized use of the phrase “best of.” The publisher says it’s been using the phrase for more than 30 years to brand special editions, such as “Best of Phoenix.” In September, the publisher became aware that Yelp promoted its own “best of” city guides online, and sued when Yelp refused to remove the offending words.

The outcome: The Village Voice says it “has been and will be damaged by a loss of reader loyalty, advertising sales and profits.” Yelp has yet to respond, though it probably shouldn’t worry. Last year, The Village Voice sued Time Out New York over its “Best of NYC” issue, claiming trademark ownership. It dropped the case when Time Out countersued and contended the phrase was generic.