“Real Science Friday” sued by NPR show


GavelDenver radio host (Crawford Broadcasting’s KLTT-AM) and pastor Bob Enyart is being sued in New York state and federal courts by producers of NPR’s “Science Friday” for trademark infringement. Enyart said his program “Real Science Friday” is a direct challenge to — not an imitation of — the popular National Public Radio show of almost the same name.

Enyart is also being sued for cybersquatting. Representatives of the show “Science Friday,” hosted by journalist Ira Flatow, say the similarity in names is confusing people and sometimes diverting them to Enyart’s website, kgov.com, reported The Denver Post.

Enyart is the self-described fundamentalist Christian pastor of the 60-member Denver Bible Church. He believes the world’s age is measured in thousands, not billions, of years because the Bible tells him so and, he said, scientific evidence backs it up.

Enyart and co-host Fred Williams, also named in the suit, say they are out to debunk conventional schools of scientific thought, such as Darwinism and other “old earth” theories. They often host and debate scientists on the program.

“No, I do not believe your ancestors were apes,” the 51-year-old Enyart said about evolution.

He will leave technicalities about trademark law to lawyers, he said, because he has faith in his right to free speech. ScienceFriday Inc. says it’s protecting its federally registered rights. It not only airs the show on 300 NPR stations; it also produces podcasts and offers extensive online content.

“We have spent 20 years plus building the name of ‘Science Friday’ and consider ourselves a trusted source of science information,” ScienceFriday spokesman Christian Skotte told the paper. “We have more than 2 million listeners a week. We want to make sure we are protecting our reputation.”

“We think Ira Flatow is a little bit jealous,” Enyart said. “For example, when people want to find out the latest science — like finds of dinosaur soft tissues — they come to ‘Real Science Friday.’ We beat out a lot of science sites.”

The suit, filed 11/9 in New York Supreme Court and in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, claims using the name “Real Science Friday” and a knockoff logo to promote Enyart’s radio show and website is a violation of ScienceFriday’s rights. Enyart also uses them in connection with YouTube. He told The Post he received a very polite e-mail from Flatow in 2009 asking him to stop using the name “Real Science Friday.”

“We didn’t want to provoke an argument, so we didn’t respond,” Enyart said.

Now, the suit is demanding that Enyart stop using the name and logo; purge them from any other Internet outlets, such as YouTube and Facebook; transfer the Internet domain; and surrender CDs and other materials for sale bearing the name or logo.

The suit also asks for Enyart’s financial records and seeks financial damages of not less than $100,000 pursuant to the Anticyberspace Squatting Consumer Protection Act.

See the Denver Post story here