Victoria's Secret store London, UK - 2017

A small Los Angeles-based brand is taking Victoria’s Secret to court for allegedly using trademarked phrasing as its own.

The brand Love Made Me Do It, which also goes by Love Made, told a California court late Friday that Victoria’s Secret is making use of its trademarked brand name and certain marketing and merchandise designs, like tote bags and a neon sign, purportedly displayed in stores.

Love Made was launched in 2008 by Linda Nguyen, who previously worked as a designer for sport-focused brands such as Vans, Lifted Research Group, Burton and Billabong among others. It sells online a range of basic apparel and neon signs with its brand name as a slogan. The name is also part of a “professional conference series” that Nguyen said has “achieved success and acclaim,” according to her complaint.

The phrase was issued federal trademark protection in December 2016 and last year, a copyright for the neon sign as an original sculptural work was registered as well.

“Inexplicably, in 2017, defendant began using the mark ‘Love Made Me Do It’ as a source identifier in promotional efforts for a new fragrance, including on tote bags and promotional items,” Nguyen said in her complaint. “Even more outrageously, defendant uses images of a neon sign reading ‘Love Made Me Do It’ in its marketing and merchandising.”

Victoria’s Secret tote (left) and Love Made Me Do It’s own branded tote. 

Considering Victoria’s Secret’s alleged use of the trademark and the similarity of the neon signage, Nguyen asked the court to find the lingerie brand liable for trademark infringement and unfair competition and order payment of unspecified monetary damages.

A neon sign in a Victoria’s Secret store (left) and a neon sign sold by Love Made Me Do It. 

She’s also seeking an immediate and permanent injunction on Victoria’s Secret’s use of the phrase, arguing without such action, “there is substantial possibility that they will continue to engage in such unlawful, unfair and deceptive business practices.”    

Nguyen’s attorney, Jeff Gluck, said the allegations in her complaint “speak for themselves.”

“Linda decided to file this lawsuit to stand up for her work and hopes to inspire other designers to do the same,” Gluck added.

A representative for Victoria’s Secret, not its parent company L Brands, could be reached for comment.

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