4 April 2018Trademarks

WWE grabs injunction in fake merchandise brawl

World Wrestling Entertainment has obtained an injunction against counterfeiters that are allegedly selling fake merchandise.

In a lawsuit (pdf) filed against 100 unidentified individuals and 100 unidentified corporations at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana on March 26, WWE alleged trademark infringement, dilution and unfair competition.

WWE was seeking injunctive relief to stop the defendants from selling the fake merchandise at its live events in New Orleans, Louisiana between April 5 and 10, during WWE’s WrestleMania 34 weekend (on April 8 in New Orleans) and after, at WWE’s live entertainment events during its 2018-2019 tour.

Yesterday, April 3, District Judge Jane Milazzo granted the temporary injunction for between April 5 and April 11.

“Federal, state, and local law enforcement officers are hereby authorised and directed to seize any and all enjoined goods … in the possession, dominion or control of defendants, their agents or persons acting in concert or participation with them,” said the order.

WWE owns a range of US trademarks including number 2,818,358 for ‘World Wrestling Entertainment’ and ‘WrestleMania’ under number 1,432,884.

In 2017, venue merchandise net revenues were approximately $24 million, including $3.7 million in revenue from WrestleMania 33, said the claim.

It added: “WWE asserts that defendants … specifically numerous peddlers and manufacturing and distribution companies, will be attempting to sell or distribute goods of inferior quality to those sold, or licensed for sale, by WWE at or near WWE’s 2018-2019 live event.”

The fake merchandise includes t-shirts, wrestling masks, posters, caps and DVDs.

WWE added that the fake merchandise also threatens public safety—in the past, there have been concerns over the flammability level of the ink used to print the t-shirts and the safety of the design of other goods, including wrestling face masks.

“The defendants’ conduct, however, represents a continuing problem, not yet abated, and the only effective relief available to WWE is the ex parte seizure process,” concluded the claim.

WWE has also asked the court to order the defendants to reimburse WWE for any and all profits.

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More on this story

15 January 2018   US rapper Travis Scott might have to fight for his ‘Cactus Jack’ trademark application with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
19 June 2017   World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has dropped its copyright infringement case against two individuals allegedly using BitTorrent to illegally upload a wrestling movie.
2 April 2019   World Wrestling Entertainment has taken unnamed counterfeiters to court, in a bid to stop fake merchandise before its WrestleMania event.