By  on March 9, 2011

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. has filed a lawsuit against Surf Style Retail Management Inc., alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition, among other claims.

The suit, filed on March 1 in a federal court in Miami, named as defendants four individuals who are also executives of Surf Style: Avi Ovaknin, Doron Malinasky, Eliyahu Levy and Shaul Zislin.

Court papers said a flying seagull logo on Surf Style’s apparel and beach accessories was “identical, or nearly identical, and confusingly similar to A&F’s seagull mark,” which A&F uses for its Hollister brand.

The lawsuit said A&F sent a cease-and-desist letter to the defendants last May 14 and that they agreed to stop using the alleged infringing mark in an agreement on July 23.

Instead of stopping their use of the infringing mark, court papers said, the defendants began and have continued to use it alongside their own Surf Style house mark, and that the action has “caused, and continues to cause, substantial and irreparable harm to A&F’s goodwill and reputation.”

A&F is seeking an injunction to bar the defendants from using the infringing marks, destruction of infringing materials and monetary damages.

According to attorney Michael Chesal of Peretz Chesal & Herrmann, which represents the defendants, “Surf Style respects the intellectual property rights of others and believes that A&F is trying to spread its net too broadly and prevent the use of any seagull by anyone. Our clients’ products and stores are beach related, and seagulls are very closely related to the beach.”

Based in Hollywood, Fla., Surf Style operates 24 stores and an e-commerce site at surf-style.com.

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