Down is up and up is down. Who would have ever believed that any manufacturer or seller of camouflage clothing in the world would ever sue A&E and their cash cow, Duck Dynasty? But that is exactly what is happening.
It all started when one of the stars of the hit A&E series, uncle Si Robertson, once said, “My favorite color is camo.” Sounds innocent enough. The phrase took off. And A&E, which already licenses camo materials with the show’s name and logo, began to license camo wear emblazoned with the phrase.
But hold up. It turns out there is already a company that has claim to that phrase as a camo sales gimmick. The company is called Hajn, and they are based in Florida. And this is not just a case of a smaller company beating A&E to the punch after that episode aired. Hajn says it registered the phrase as a trademark and put it on shirts, pants, hoodies, hats, magnets, stickers and bumper stickers in 2011, which is a year before Duck Dynasty started up on A&E.
“A&E’s conduct constitutes clear acts of unfair competition that risks considerable consumer confusion in that customers purchasing apparel from A&E believe that these goods are affiliated, sponsored, endorsed or related to Hajn,” the suit said. “Alternatively, A&E’s conduct constitutes reverse palming off, in that consumers believe that Hajn is selling Duck Dynasty related apparel.”
Hajn says they sent A&E a cease and desist letter, which they ignored. Hajn says they are entitled to a piece of the action.
“A&E generated $400 million in revenues from sales of Duck Dynasty branded merchandise at Wal-Mart in 2013 alone,” the suit said.
“Our client is a hardworking and enterprising small-business owner who took the time and effort to trademark his intellectual property,” Hajn attorney Greg Weiss wrote. “We had no choice but to pursue his rights though this lawsuit after our warning went unheeded.”
A&E’s lawyers have not commented, saying, “We don’t comment on pending litigation.”
Image via MyFavoriteColorIsCamo.Com