MATERIAL GIRL HEADING TO TRIAL: Fresh from the debut at the Venice Film Festival of “W.E.”, Madonna will soon have to make a detour to Los Angeles for a court trial. In the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by L.A. Triumph Inc. against Madonna and her Material Girl clothing brand, a judge has denied a request by the pop star-turned-director to throw out the lawsuit.
On Aug. 31, a year after the suit was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Judge S. James Otero rejected an argument from MG Icon — a joint venture between Madonna, her manager, Guy Oseary, and Iconix Brand Group Inc. — that Madonna was the senior user of the Material Girl trademark because she performed the popular song “Material Girl” in 1984. The judge’s decision paves the way for a trial to start in mid-October.
Cerritos, Calif.-based L.A. Triumph said it has sold its own juniors clothing line called Material Girl to retailers such as Nordstrom and Ross since 1997, thus holding trademark rights stemming from first use. It’s seeking unspecified monetary damages and an injunction to require Madonna’s company to choose a new name for her clothing line.