Burberry Ltd. likes the company it keeps, and finds rapper Perry Moise’s alter ego damaging to the luxury brand’s trademarks.
The British company on Monday filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in Manhattan federal court against Moise, who calls himself Burberry Perry. He is also alleged to be using Burberry’s registered check pattern and equestrian trademark in connection with his album and social media pages. The company specifically alleged that Moise is using the “fame and renown of the Burberry trademark for his own personal gain, to promote his albums, garner media attention and grow a fan base, all to the detriment of Burberry.”
Monday’s lawsuit charged Moise with engaging in “willful trademark infringement and dilution” of the famous Burberry trademarks. The complaint also said that the British firm has tried on multiple occasions to get Moise to stop. The court papers also said that Moise adopted the “Burberry Perry” stage name without the company’s consent.
Perhaps what’s most bothersome to the British fashion brand is how the musician’s use of the name, and his music and lyrics, are alleged to bring a “bad light” on the company. Burberry said it has a number of music-related ventures with musicians such as John Epstein, George Craig, Sir Elton John and George Ezra, to name a few, including its use of their images and music in ad campaigns. Their music is used via live performances at its fashion shows, and also on a digital platform that the company set up called Burberry Acoustic to allow music fans access to emerging artists through videos available for streaming on the Burberry web site.
The court document said Moise’s lyrics contain an extensive use of profanity. And the British firm said in the complaint that Moise’s use of the Burberry trademark is causing consumers to “mistakenly believe” that he is affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by or is somehow connected to Burberry. Because he isn’t connected with the company, Burberry said his unabated use of the trademarks would dilute and tarnish their value.
Other claims include false designation of origin and trademark dilution. Burberry is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction and any other relief the court deems “just and proper.”
The company said, “As a global luxury brand, Burberry considers the protection of its intellectual property vital for the health of its business and to safeguard its customers. As such, Burberry goes to great lengths to protect its creative designs and will take all the necessary action against the abuse of Burberry trademarks.”
Moise could not be reached for comment.