Hip-hop entrepreneur Percy Miller might be glad he only occasionally goes by the nom de plume Master P these days. A new lawsuit alleges he isn’t exactly the master of that particular letter.
This story first appeared in the October 1, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Pepe Jeans London LLC has accused the rapper, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and manufacturer Happy Nation Inc. of trademark infringement for the use of the letter P in the logo for his P. Miller clothing line.
According to documents filed in federal court in Manhattan on Sept. 26, the logo infringes on the Pepe Jeans P logo, a stylized P enclosed in a circle. The complaint also alleges the logo’s placement on the hangtags infringes on Pepe’s tradition of displaying its P mark on a round plastic tab halfway down the tags of its merchandise.
The rapper brought the P. Miller line to Wal-Mart earlier this year. His son, the recording artist Romeo, also endorses the low-priced urbanwear collection.
Pepe and its co-plaintiff and licensee Jean Design Ltd. are seeking an injunction against the use of the logo, all profits and damages that ensued from infringing activities, legal fees and unspecified damages.
A representative from Wal-Mart said the company had not yet been served with the suit, but that it would review the case and respond appropriately. Miller’s attorney of record did not return a call seeking comment, nor did a representative for Happy Nation.