Posted On: November 15, 2010

Fox Sues Renegade Classics for Infringing Sons of Anarchy Copyright and Trademarks

copyright-infringement-sons-of-anarchy-tv-show.jpgLos Angeles, CA – Fox is the owner of all copyrights in its “Sons of Anarchy” television show airing on FX. The dramatic television series follows a notorious outlaw motorcycle club battling outside threats to protect its livelihood “while ensuring that their simple, sheltered town of Charming, California remains exactly that – charming.” The complaint asserts that “Sons of Anarchy” is the most-watched scripted original series on cable television, surpassing the Emmy and Golden Globe award-winning series “Nip/Tuck” and “The Shield” with an average of 3.1 million weekly viewers. Not surprisingly, Fox sells show related merchandise and has a registered USPTO trademark for “Sons of Anarchy” and several pending applications.

Fox claims that in August of 2009 it discovered Defendants were selling clothing incorporating the Sons of Anarchy trademark and Grim Reaper design at the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota. In response to Fox’s cease and desist letter, Defendants claimed that the “shirts did not sell and it was a complete waste of my time.” In the spring of 2010 Fox discovered the same defendants allegedly selling infringing items through the www.supportsoa.com website. In response to another C & D letter, Defendants claimed that they had simply forgotten to take the site down and they had not sold any merchandise. Fox then asserts that a few months later it discovered that Defendants were attempting to sell infringing products to Fox’s potential distributors, including Harley-Davidson stores. Fox further alleges that Defendants have recently sold infringing products at their own physical stores. Fox was forced to sue for copyright and trademark infringement and unfair competition. The case is Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation v. Renegade Classics, et al. CV10-8565 SVW (C.D. Cal. 2010).

Posted On: November 9, 2010

Givenchy Sues BCBG Max Azria Over Purse Design – Trade Dress

Los Angeles, CA – Givenchy, the luxury merchandise manufacturer, seems to be jumping on the trade dress bandwagon (see here and here) to prevent copying of its purse design. Instead of protecting its purse design with a design patent, Givenchy claims that its Nightingale Trade Dress “includes without limitation a removable strap, two double seemed handles, a flat bottom and decorative double stitched horizontal and vertical stripes on the exterior that visually separate the bag into four distinct quadrants.” Givenchy is going to have to show that the consuming public recognizes the trade dress as identifying the source of the purse. Givenchy claims that it has earned in excess of fifty (50) million dollars in revenue from the sale of the Nightingale handbags and that the public recognizes the trade dress.

givenchy-bcbg-max-azria-handbags-trade-dress-copying-infringement.jpg

BCBG is accused of trying to profit from Givenchy’s goodwill by selling “its knock-off ‘Rembrandt’ and other handbags that deliberately copy, line-by-line and stitch-by-stitch distinctive, non-functional elements of Givenchy’s Nightingale Trade Dress.” In addition to monetary damages, Givenchy seeks an injunction prohibiting further sales of BCBG’s handbags. The case is Givenchy S.A. v. BCBG Max Azria Group, Inc. CV10-8394 (C.D. Cal. 2010).

Posted On: November 8, 2010

Lamebook sues Facebook for Trademark Non-Infringement

trademark-attorney-facebook-lamebook.jpgFacebook, if you've been living on a deserted island, is eponymous with online social networking. Lamebook is a parody website recently created by Jonathan Standefer and Matthew Genitempo, two graphic designers from Austin, Texas. Lamebook highlights "the funny, absurd, and often 'lame' content that gets posted on the Facebook website" to provide fodder for its users' social commentary. Lamebook does not provide social networking services, but allows "people to poke fun at and comment on the kind of pictures, comments, and messages that get posted" on Facebook. After receiving cease and desist letters from Facebook, Lamebook's claim that it was a clear parody did not dissuade Facebook. Lamebook is now asking the Court to declare that it does not infringe or dilute the Facebook trademark and that its parody website is protected free speech under the First Amendment. The case is Lamebook, LLC, v. Facebook, Inc., 10-cv-00833 (W.D. Tex. 2010).