The lawsuit filed Monday alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is "inherently distinctive, famous ... and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer" with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
"'Californication' is the signature CD, video and song of the band's career, and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right," said the band's lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, in a statement.
The suit seeks a permanent injunction barring Showtime and the other defendants from using the title "Californication" for the show, damages and restitution and disgorgement of all profits derived by the defendants.
The television series stars David Duchovny as a novelist suffering from writers' block and a mid-life crisis.
The show also features a character named "Dani California ," which is also the title of a Red Hot Chili Peppers song released in 2006, according to the lawsuit.
The suit also names the show's creator and executive producer, Tom Kapinos, and two production companies, Twilight Time Films and Aggressive Mediocrity, Inc.
A call Monday to an attorney for Showtime was not immediately returned. Attempts to find a listing for Kapinos were not successful.
In July 2007, Kapinos told reporters at a Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills that he first heard the term "Californication' in Oregon.
"Apparently in the '70s there were bumper stickers that said 'Don't Californicate Oregon ,' because Californians were coming up there, and I just thought it was a great, great title for this show," said Kapinos.