FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., March 13, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Fort Lauderdale lawyer Michael Santucci, Managing Partner of Santucci Priore, P.L., and lead trademark counsel to Emma Bassiri, Founder & CEO of Meowingtons.com, an online retailer of cat-themed clothing, apparel, jewelry, accessories, bags, novelties, and pet products issued the following statement:
My client, Ms. Emma Bassiri, a 25 year old entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of Meowingtons.com, who has established and continuously operated a respected, popular and profitable online retailing business in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida since April, 2014, is being bullied by a litigious celebrity, Deadmau5. The defendant, an EDM musician and DJ also known as Joel Zimmerman, has made false claims regarding Ms. Bassiri's company's first and rightful use of its mark MEOWINGTONS that was duly registered and allowed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO").
Zimmerman has also made false and unflattering comments about my client. Ms. Bassiri is not currently, and has never been a fan of, or ever met Mr. Zimmerman. Ms. Bassiri takes offense and vigorously denies Zimmerman's untrue statements and reckless accusations made against her that have unfairly tarnished her reputation and diluted Meowingtons.com's customer goodwill.
My client's federal trademark registration for the mark MEOWINGTONS affords her company a presumption of exclusive ownership of the mark for the recited services throughout the United States. Zimmerman's ongoing and confusingly similar use of her trademark through the sale of items including T-shirts containing vulgar four-letter words adjacent to 'Meowingtons' tarnishes the image of Ms. Bassiri's company. It is her desire to shield her loyal customers who range from cat fanciers and fashion-forward men and women, to teen girls and grandmothers who love their pets, from discovering unauthorized, repugnant merchandise that further damages the reputation of her company, Meowingtons.com and diminishes its goodwill.
As described in the lawsuit, Ms. Bassiri's online retail store, Meowingtons.com, has been selling a comprehensive array of cat-themed merchandise for more than two years, and received Registration No: 4,711,265 from the USPTO on March 31, 2015 based on her filing back in July of 2014. Zimmerman, through his off-shore British Virgin Islands company, Ronica Holdings Ltd, applied to use a highly similar mark in August, 2015. Ronica's application included an allegedly false statement that they 'knew of no other company using Meowingtons' which appears to have been intended to deceive the USPTO. In May, 2016, the USPTO refused Zimmerman's application 'due to likelihood of confusion' with Ms. Bassiri's registered mark already in active commercial use in the United States and in various other countries.
Zimmerman, who maintains an office in Los Angeles, California, also operates off-shore businesses in the British Virgin Islands and Canada, and is not a US citizen, yet claims to have a "bona fide intention to use" his similar mark in United States commerce. In the process, we intend to fully investigate Mr. Zimmerman's offshore corporate structure and their questionable claims of having established a bona fide MEOWINGTONS merchandise brand in the United States that warrants trademark protection prior to Ms. Bassiri, the registered owner. Because of the defendant's stated intention, and claim they already have commenced use of the mark, it is necessary to move this matter from the USPTO to the U.S. District Court to compel Zimmerman to immediately cease trademark uses of 'Meowingtons' and related marks, and to deliver or destroy confusingly similar merchandise, remove confusing offers and language from digital and social media that use Bassiri's company's mark as a brand name or trademark, and to pay monetary damages based on profits made through the sale of unauthorized merchandise.
The act of naming your pet animal is not protected by the trademark laws of any country of which I am aware. The mouse (Zimmerman) is clearly the copycat in this case, and our legal team is confident that Ms. Bassiri, a creative and hardworking entrepreneur who has built a successful online retailing business, Meowingtons.com inspired by her love of cats, will prevail as the rightful and sole owner of the mark 'Meowingtons.'
Rogers & Cowan for Meowingtons.com
SOURCE Meowingtons.com; Santucci Priore P.L.