Millennia is the maker of Legacy Family Tree, a desktop genealogy program that competes against TGN's Family Tree Maker (FTM). Millennia recently released Legacy 7.0. Co-defendant, BTH2 (or BTHtwo), is a branding and creative design agency located in Orem, Utah. According to their website, BTH2 did the Family Tree Maker (FTM) 2008 brand design for TGN.
The Ancestry Insider obtained a copy of the complaint from the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah. TGN alleges that BTH2 became a manufacturer, publisher and distributor for Legacy 7.0, redesigning the Legacy box to look remarkably similar to the design BTH2 did for TGN. TGN alleges the similarities are intentional and deceptive. BTH2 provided these services to Millenia in violation of its contract with TGN not to provide similar services to competitors for a year, according to the TGN complaint.
The Legacy 7.0 box design shown on Amazon.com illustrates the common properties of the new design with the Family Tree Maker 2008 Essentials Package:
- A white and orange color scheme with dark text and similarly colored text.
- Italicized black text across the top.
- Use of the orange leaf as the dominant graphical element.
- The words FAMILY TREE in large, dark sans-serif text as the dominant text element on the front and sides of the box.
- An orange colored, script text element immediately above FAMILY TREE.
- Three photographs on top of the leaf/leaves, the top one in color and the other two in sepia tone.
- Bulleted lines of italic text underneath the word FAMILY containing the words "easily", "create" and "charts" in that order.
- The phrase "build your family tree."
- Orange graphic elements anchoring the designs on the sides of the box.
- A three-pronged leaf motif on both sides of the box. (The three-pronged Ancestry "leaf" logo vs. the three-segmented maple leaf.)
The complaint also points out similarities between the Legacy website header and artwork from the movie Legacy: A Mormon Journey. The movie debuted in 1990 in the newly-opened 500-seat Legacy Theater in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building in Salt Lake City. In the same building and near the entrance to the theater is a FamilySearch Family History Center. Patrons to the center are in the target market for Millennia's Legacy program.
The complaint shows Legacy media labels were not using the script logo prior to 1997. The Internet Archive for www.legacyfamilytree.com shows the sunset graphic didn't come into use by Millennia until after 1998.
When contacted for comment, TGN made this statement:
The Generations Network (TGN) confirms it has begun legal proceedings against Millennia Corporation, publisher of Legacy family history software, and BTH2 Inc., the apparent designer of Legacy’s family history software packaging and a re-publisher/distributor of that software. TGN has concluded that Legacy’s software packaging, currently available at retail, clearly violates TGN’s trademark of its Family Tree Maker product and is designed to resemble our trade dress (the look and feel of our branding), in a way that has and will continue to confuse consumers. Since this is an ongoing legal issue, TGN has no further statement at this time.