In response to a lawsuit filed by this year's X Games RallyCross silver medalist Ken Block and his Gravel Farms Racing company, a Southern California-based media and marketing firm is demanding a jury trial over the ownership of GYMKHANA.com.
After co-producing and directing the first three of Block's viral GYMKHANA videos, Mad Media established the website to showcase racing news and precision automotive driving, along with a disclaimer that it "does not originate from, is not affiliated, connected, or associated with, and is not sponsored or approved by Ken Block or DC Shoes."
Block, who reportedly owns the trademark for gymkhana, took issue with that, and after filing the initial lawsuit in July, his lawyer, Mike Friedland, told ESPN.com, "This case is about Ken going to this media company and working with them, and them taking advantage of their access to him and gymkhana and trying to steal that name for themselves."
Mad Media's response, filed late last month in U.S. District Court,
states that Block's claims of "trademark infringement, unfair competition and related claims fail because the word gymkhana is generic in relation to autocross motorsports and fundamentally incapable of serving as a trademark."
Mad Media, which is based in Oceanside, Calif., is also asking for the court to declare that it's a copyright owner of those first three GYMKHANA videos.
Contacted via email, Mad Media COO Joshua Martelli had no comment.