Mar 27, 2017

Deadmau5 Trapped In Intellectual Property Battle

It seems progressive house DJ, Deadmau5, is becoming accustomed to lawsuits regarding his intellectual property rights. In 2015, deadmau5 also known as Joel Zimmerman, found himself in a legal battle with Disney when he tried to trade mark the shape of his famous headware that he can be seen sporting at events. Disney strongly opposed his trade mark and patent applications for the headware on the grounds that they were too similar to the famous Mickey Mouse ears. They argued it would be likely that there would be an element of confusion between their famous mouse ears and Deadmau5's headware. The two mighty mice have now reached an amicable settlement.

Now it seems, Zimmerman, is back having to defend his intellectual property rights, this time from online cat apparel retailer, Meowington's LLC. On Monday 13th March, Meowington's LLC filed a complaint in the US District Court in Florida against the DJ using the mark 'Meowingtons'. The cat apparel retailer is seeking an injunction to prevent the DJ from using the mark on his website and social media account. Meowingtons LLC are also seeking a judgement that they are the senior user of the 'Meowingtons' mark.

The complaint arises out of a petition by Zimmerman to cancel the 'Meowingtons' mark for retail and online store services. Zimmerman, petitioned for the cancellation of this mark under grounds of priority as well as believing that there would be a likelihood of confusion with Zimmerman's prior trade mark 'Prof. Meowingtons' for classes including CD and DVD recordings, clothing and toys.

In his petition, Zimmerman highlighted that he has used the mark 'Prof Meowingtons' on numerous promotions and media dating back to 2010. The DJ also added that he used the name 'Meowingtons Hax Tour' for the name of his tour in 2011. Further to this, he has also claimed that the founder of Meowingtons LLC, Emma Bassiri, is a "long-time fan" of Deadmau5 and has "followed him on social media" therefore she would have known about the Meowingtons mark before registering the mark herself. This could potentially open her up to allegations of bad faith in registering her mark.

Emma Bassiri has argued that she registered the mark 'Meowingtons' in 2014 and there was never any objection to this. Bassiri has also stated, rather outlandishly, that the allegation of her being a deadmau5 fan are "harmful" and could potentially be damaging to her reputation. Zimmerman was able to settle his previous dispute with Disney, it remains to be seen whether he is able to resolve this matter amicably also or whether this dispute is set to run and run.

in: EU/International, Trade Marks

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