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British brand merchandiser Global Merchandising Services (GMS) has accused custom T-shirt designer SunFrog of trademark infringement, in violation of the Lanham Act.
GMS filed its claim at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on Thursday, December 28, 2017.
Headquartered in London and Los Angeles, GMS is the sole and exclusive worldwide merchandise licensee for musical groups and performing artists including Mötley Crüe, Alice Cooper, and Motörhead.
SunFrog is a Michigan-based operator of an online platform which designs and sells print-on-demand clothing products to consumers, who are invited to upload designs onto the website, to be printed on SunFrog products at its manufacturing facilities.
GMS alleged that through this platform, SunFrog has been promoting, manufacturing and selling consumer products bearing designs which are identical or confusingly similar to those of the artists affiliated with GMS, infringing the intellectual property rights of the artists’ respective brands.
“The GMS artists are the owners of certain intellectual property rights in and to the GMS artists’ brands, such as internationally registered and unregistered trademarks, copyrights, and publicity rights,” GMS said.
The four causes of action listed on the claim are direct trademark counterfeiting; direct infringement of registered and unregistered trademarks; contributory trademark infringement and counterfeiting under the Lanham Act; and false designation of origin, passing off and unfair competition.
The matter was first raised by GMS in a cease and desist letter to SunFrog on July 7, 2016. GMS alleged that the defendant has continued to manufacture, promote, and sell the infringing products, knowingly and intentionally violating GMS’s and its artists’ rights. The claim noted that more than 120 listings had been reported to the defendant for infringement at the time of filing.
GMS is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction, as well as triple damages and profits from SunFrog of up to $2 million, and any other relief deemed just and equitable by the court.
SunFrog, Mötley Crüe, Global Merchandising Services, trademark infringement, license, music, counterfeit