Dance music star Deadmau5 is suing executives of an e-cigarette company for alleged trademark infringement.
The DJ, real name Joel Zimmerman, filed a federal lawsuit in California on Thursday (31Mar16) against the bosses of West Coast Vape, for naming their electronic cigarette line deadmodz and allegedly using a logo similar to his, complete with the same bubble-style font.
Zimmerman accuses the bosses of trying to capitalise on his fame and success and confusing his fans into thinking he is associated with the brand.
"Our client faces unscrupulous people trying to take advantage goodwill associated with his intellectual property and his fame," his attorney Irene Lee wrote to The Hollywood Reporter. "We are grateful for our fans and believe it’s our obligation to make sure our fans are not duped into buying things that Deadmau5 did not authorize."
He is suing for trademark infringement and false association, and wants a permanent injunction stopping West Coast Vape executives from using deadmodz. He is also seeking damages.
Zimmerman's legal team had initially sent cease and desist letters to Alham Benyameen, the principal of West Coast Vape, in February (16) to avoid legal action. Benyameen changed his website and logo design, but the alterations were not enough and they proposed settling out of court in another letter. When the executive failed to respond, they prepared the lawsuit.
This is not Zimmerman's first trademark dispute. Disney bosses took issue when he filed a trademark in application in 2013 for a range of goods because they were concerned his signature headgear was too similar to their beloved cartoon character Mickey Mouse. They reached an undisclosed settlement last year (15).