4 May 2018Trademarks

Kendall Jenner served with pizza trademark infringement claim

Reality star Kendall Jenner has been handed a trademark infringement claim over the name of her internet radio programme.

California-based Robert Karageuzian, founder of a collective of graffiti artists known as ‘ Pizzaboyzzz’, filed the suit against Jenner and New York-based DJ Daniel Chetrit at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York yesterday, April 3.

‘Pizzaboyzzz’ is in the business of manufacturing clothing, decorative pins and various other products using the ‘Pizzaboyzzz’ trademark since 2015.

The collective was founded in 2013 and soon established a following for its graffiti-inspired art pieces, the suit claimed, before launching pizza-themed stickers and other collectable items in 2014. A year later, the collective launched its own online store.

In conjunction with the merchandise, Karageuzian has been operating an Instagram account under the brand. The account currently has an international following of over 47,000.

Jenner and Chetrit have allegedly been using the name ‘Pizzaboys’ in relation to an internet radio programme, Instagram account and apparel that are “directly competitive” with the plaintiff’s trademark.

The suit claimed that the defendants filed two intent-to-use trademark applications for ‘Pizzaboys’, relating to clothing and an online radio show.

“Already, the internet is rife with complaints by customers who are confused by the nearly identical marks, particularly in view of the defendants’ efforts,” claimed the plaintiff. He said that Jenner’s use of the name specifically targets his audience by exploiting his “unique themes” and content.

According to Karageuzian, consumer confusion will only intensify and his brand will suffer irreparable injury without any judicial intervention.

In 2016 the defendants were pictured in New York wearing ‘Pizza Boys’ apparel while handing out boxes of Joe’s Pizza.

The claim said that the official Joe’s Pizza Instagram account even linked the image to the plaintiff’s Instagram account, causing confusion among the plaintiff’s and defendants’ fans.

In March this year, the defendants launched their own ‘Pizza Boys’ Instagram account where they used the platform to announce the launch of their radio show. The lawsuit claimed that they also have ‘Pizzaboys’ apparel in stock that they intend on selling.

Karageuzian is seeking injunctive relief, coupled with monetary damages.

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