The comedian known as Retta is host of HGTV's "Ugliest House in America," the target of a lawsuit by Dallas-based HomeVestors. [Image: HGTV]
It’s getting ugly.
Dallas-based HomeVestors—a national home buying franchise known for its “We Buy Ugly Houses” campaign—is suing HGTV over its show “Ugliest House in America.”
HomeVestors filed a lawsuit yesterday against HGTV’s parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., saying the show violates the intellectual property rights of HomeVestors’ “The Ugliest House Of The Year” trademark.
HGTV’s “Ugliest House in America” premiered on January 3, 2022, as a limited five-episode series hosted by the comedian Retta. But it proved so popular, it’s been renewed twice, with a third, six episode-season slated to premiere in early 2023.
‘Heinous’ and ‘grotesque’ design choices
HomeVestors claims the show mocks homeowners’ “heinous” and “grotesque” design choices in a manner that “does not align with HomeVestors’ values or brand identity.”
“While confusingly similar in name, the HGTV show is vastly different from the HomeVestors’ [Ugliest House of the Year] contest, which features homes its franchisees have purchased and then showcases one dramatic home makeover as the winner,” HomeVestors said in a statement.
“Because HGTV refused to respect HomeVestors’ trademark rights, despite repeated requests to do so, HomeVestors was forced to file suit to stop Warner Bros. Discovery from continuing to confuse the public and harm the goodwill associated with HomeVestors’ brand,” HomeVestors added.
The Dallas-based company says it’s spent more than 25 years building its brand, with more than 125,000 houses bought since 1996—adding that it recruits, trains and supports more than 1,100 independently owned and operated franchisees who buy, rehab, sell, and hold residential properties.
Get on the list.
Dallas Innovates, every day.
Sign up to keep your eye on what’s new and next in Dallas-Fort Worth, every day.
R E A D N E X T
On "Flip to a Million"—premiering Monday at 8 central on HGTV and streaming on Discovery+—Long Island's Jon and Dani Wrobel and Chicago's Jason and EJ Williams move their families to Dallas with a daunting task. With an initial budget of just $1,000, they must race to flip as fast as they can. The first couple to sell a house for $1 million wins. They'll face competition outside the show, too. In Q1, investors set a record by flipping 2,675 homes and condos in DFW—more than double the pace from Q1 2021.
In this week’s roundup of hires, promotions, and accolades in North Texas, you’ll also find news from Catalyze Dallas, Flexport, Oceans Healthcare, Costar Technologies, TXOne Networks, North Texas Food Bank, Holt Lunsford Commercial, and others.
The grant—part of more than $121 million given by the U.S. Department of Labor to help strengthen and modernize Registered Apprenticeship programs—was the only one awarded in North Texas. The college was also the only higher education institute in Texas to get one of the grants. The grants are intended to help workers find a “reliable path to the middle class," the Labor Department says.
Plano-based Toyota North America is expanding its partnership with Google Cloud to enhance AI-based speech services in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Audio control is now just a voice command away, processed by in-vehicle voice AI. And a future Speech On-Device offering could offer a range of natural speech functions without even using the cloud—eliminating "dead zones" and tunnel dropouts.
“The impact of this gift will be enormous,” Jessica Guthrie, chief program officer for Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth, told Dallas Innovates. “By using her platform, Ms. Winfrey has been able to draw attention to the national issue of teacher burnout and the tools available that can help."