By  on August 31, 2007

Icon Brands Group Inc. filed a lawsuit against Iconix Brand Group Inc. in Los Angeles federal court on Aug. 2 over trademarks. Icon Brands Group’s lawsuit includes allegations of false designation of origin, trademark infringement, unfair competition and misappropriation against Iconix. In court documents Icon Brands said it used the IIKONN (pronounced “icon”) Brands Group trademark since July 2004. In 2006 the company changed its name to Icon Brands Group. Iconix sent the company a letter in April of this year asserting that it had held a trademark for “Iconix Brand Group” since July 2005 and that the Icon Brands Group name was too similar, according to the complaint. In its letter Iconix asked Icon Brands Group to stop using its name and find an alternative trademark and name. Icon Brands Group asked the court for an injunction and damages. Icon did not return calls for comment. “As far as we are concerned, Icon’s claims have absolutely no merit. Icon changed its name from IIKONN to ICON more than a year after our company adopted the Iconix name and ICON ticker symbol,” stated an Iconix spokesperson.

Nine West Development Corp. and Nine West Footwear Corp. filed a lawsuit against unnamed defendants for allegedly creating Facebook.com profiles that use the Nine West brand name without authorization. According to documents filed in Manhattan federal court on Aug. 24, the John Doe defendants created a profile on Facebook for Nine West shoes without permission. The owners of the profile then created a group named “Nine West-Model Auditions” which solicited pictures of applicants’ faces, bodies and barefoot toes. The group page said winners would receive an all-expenses paid trip to New York. Approximately 400 Facebook members joined the group as of July. Following a request by Nine West, Facebook removed the group. Subsequently, Nine West said it discovered another group under a different alias with the same false audition listed, which had attracted 226 members. Nine West alleged trademark infringement, false description, false representation and other claims in its complaint. The company asked the court for an injunction, damages and to require the individuals behind the Facebook groups to hand over all documents, photos and other information they had received from anyone who responded to the postings.

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