Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pharrell and Rihanna sue company in intellectual property dispute

Recently, musicians and entrepreneurs Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams and Rihanna, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York against French based fashion company ELEVENPARIS for various claims relating to right of publicity violations, unfair competition, and trademark infringement.[1] The lawsuit results from ELEVENPARIS’ alleged unauthorized use of the Plaintiffs’ names, images, likeness and trademarks on various clothing products, “including but not limited to, t-shirts, tank tops, sweatshirts, hats, backpacks and cell phone cases.”[2] For example some of the t-shirts use the slogan “Kanye is My Home” or “Pharrell is My Brotha” or lyrics of famous songs of the Plaintiffs.[3] Plaintiffs further allege that Defendants are using confusingly similar marks on their clothing which are derived from the Plaintiffs’ respective names and marks, such as by using the term CAYONCE which is allegedly confusingly similar to the trademark BEYONCÉ. Plaintiffs also allege that Defendants were aware of Plaintiffs’ claims but refused to cease and desist from selling the allegedly unauthorized goods and continue to sell such goods in their Manhattan, New York retail store.

Plaintiffs are seeking damages for willful trademark infringement, including an accounting profits. Plaintiffs are also seeking an injunction to prevent the use of their names, images, likeness and trademarks by Defendants. Please contact our office if you have any questions regarding the information in this article.

Daniel Devine, Esq.
Santucci Priore, P.L.

[1] See, Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, et. al. v. Eleven LLC, et. al., Case No. 15-cv-07890-AJN (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 6, 2015).  
[2] Id.
[3] Id.

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