Julie Clopper /
6 November 2014Trademarks

Crayola draws line on trademark infringement

Art materials brand Crayola has launched a trademark lawsuit against a toy company it claims is fraudulently using its name.

Crayola, a subsidiary of US-based Hallmark Cards, has accused Alex Toys of putting crayons bearing the word “Crayola” into its products.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday (November 4) at the US District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Crayola said it was claiming counterfeiting, trademark dilution and infringement, as well as unfair competition.

According to Crayola, Alex Toys “manufactures, distributes, offers for sale, and sells crayons branded as Crayola and Crayolas” across the US and beyond through various retail outlets and online.

The infringing products, said Crayola, include Alex’s Colossal Art Set, which includes 40 crayons, and its Crayons (100)—a hundred piece crayon bucket.

Crayola is seeking an injunction preventing Alex Toys from selling the goods as well as $2 million for “each counterfeit mark for each type of good and service” it has infringed.

It said its trademark, which it has licenced extensively, has been used since 1905 and it has sold more than 200 billion crayons bearing the word.

“Each crayon in the Colossal Art Set prominently bears the infringing trademark Crayola printed on the crayon wrapper,” the complaint said.

It added that the Crayon (100) bucket included the “plural version” of the Crayola trademark ‘Crayolas’.

The complaint also alleged that Alex Toys had recently hired Crayola’s former general manager of sales, Darren Silverman, as its executive vice president of sales in an “apparent effort to improve the marketing” of its products.

It said: “Considering Silverman’s thorough understanding of Crayola’s marks and extensive experience in marketing Crayola products and further considering the nature of his current employment, defendant’s infringing use of the Crayola mark constitutes wilful infringement.”

Alex Toys did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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