The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its exclusive licensing agent
Global Icons announced today that they have won a lawsuit filed in
Germany against Mensing department store, in Dorsten, Germany, and
Schleifenbaum Design & Project over unauthorized use of the Chamber's
licensed trademark properties, the world famous Hollywood Sign and the
Hollywood Walk of Fame. The court in Bochum, Germany ruled on June 19,
2013 in favor of the Chamber's claim.
"The court's determination that these companies violated the Chamber's
rights sends a message that companies outside the U.S. cannot violate
our trademark and other rights," said Hollywood Chamber President & CEO
Leron Gubler. "This is the first time in more than 35 years of owning
these trademarks we have been forced to take legal action
internationally to protect them."
Global Icons office in Munich discovered the department store's illegal
usage of the Chamber's international trademark rights. "Mensing had
created a 'Hollywood' themed shop and environment with a large wall
dedicated to the iconic Hollywood sign and also recreated over a dozen
'Walk of Fame' stars on the store floor," stated Jeff Lotman, CEO of
Global Icons. "We vigorously pursued Mensing and its design agent
Schleifenbaum, and the court agreed with our position that the use of
the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame trademarks constituted infringement."
While Mensing and Schleifenbaum were offered the opportunity to license
the marks, both claimed that the Chamber had no valid enforceable
trademark rights to the Hollywood sign and further asserted that neither
the sign nor the Walk of Fame had global recognition. Attorney Christine
Sovich of Sovich Minch LLP who represents the Chamber and Global Icons
in infringement cases commented, "It is always our preference to reach
an amicable resolution. However, the defendants in this instance left us
with no choice but to litigate these issues. The Chamber is very serious
about the protection of its intellectual property throughout the world.
Together, with German counsel Nikolaus Reber of Dr. Roth & Kollegen we
were able to deliver this important international victory for the
Claims for injunctive relief, information, damages and costs were based
on German law against unfair competition as it pertained to the use of
the Chamber's protected marks. This law prohibits unfair imitation
practices combined with an exploitation of reputation.
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