25 October 2019TrademarksSaman Javed

Virgin accuses retailer of creating ‘sham’ entity to avoid paying court fees

Virgin Enterprises has filed a trademark infringement claim against a cosmetics retailer in the US just months after it won a lawsuit against the same company in the UK.

The complaint, filed yesterday, October 24 at the US District Court for the District of Wyoming targets the owner of two companies, Virginic and Paramount Labs, and alleges trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition.

In its filing, Virgin said both companies use of ‘Virginic’ to sell cosmetics and personal care products violate US laws and infringe on its earlier trademarks for ‘Virgin’.

Additionally, Virgin said the sale of products bearing the ‘Virginic’ name in the US amounts to wilful infringement “because Virginic already lost a similar challenge abroad”.

In March, the English High Court denied Virginic’s application to register the ‘Virginic’ trademark in the UK, finding that it is likely to be confused with Virgin’s existing trademarks.

“As a result, Virginic now owes Virgin £35,000 ($44,000),” the filing said. Virgin said it has attempted to collect the UK judgment from Virginic, but it has refused to comply.

The infringement in the Us is wilful because Virginic already lost a similar challenge abroad.

The UK-basedcompany also alleged unfair competition, citing its Virgin Atlantic Retail Therapy Shop thatsells various skincare products and cosmetics.

According to the filing, following the UK judgment, in May 2019 the owner of Virginic formed Paramount Labs in Wyoming.

“Paramount is a sham entity that was created solely to hide assets from the UK judgment and continue acts of infringement,” the filing said.

According to Virgin, the owner now imports ‘Virginic’ goods featuring the same packaging into the US under the Paramount Labs company.

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