Deadmau5 continues battle for ‘Meowingtons’ trademark with new countersuitDeadmau5 Reward Is Cheese

Deadmau5 continues battle for ‘Meowingtons’ trademark with new countersuit

Joel Zimmerman’s trademark woes were forced into the public eye most notably when his high-profile logo battle with Disney made headlines in 2014. While this dispute was settled in 2015, deadmau5 has been embroiled in another trademark fray for the past several months. In December 2016, Zimmerman petitioned to cancel Florida resident Emma Bassiri’s trademark for “,” after failing to register a trademark for his famed cat, “Prof. Meowingtons.”

In March, Bassiri sued deadmau5, claiming that her use of the moniker for her cat-themed gift shop was not inspired by the producer’s pet. At the time of the initial suit, Zimmerman maintained that the “Meowingtons” trademark is rightfully his under the concept of first use – the artist has used his cat’s name as part of his brand since 2011, whereas Bassiri’s store did not open until 2014. “From the very beginning I was working to find a way to resolve this situation amicably,” Zimmerman commented in March. “Now I am forced to litigate this woman out of existence. Bye bye Emma Bassiri. I am going to protect the trademark I have been using since 2011.”

Now, The Hollywood Reporter reports that deadmau5 has made a new step in pursuing the trademark, filing a countersuit against Bassiri for “trademark infringement, cybersquatting and unfair competition over her site’s name.”

Zimmerman’s attorney, Irene Lee, commented on the suit to THR:

“Two months ago, a company that hijacked our clients’ trademark MEOWINGTONS filed a lawsuit against our clients, deadmau5 and his companies, including Prof. Meowingtons Ltd…Despite our clients’ efforts to resolve the matter amicably, the company — which took the very mark as its name: Meowingtons, LLC — has been relentless, now forcing our clients to protect their trademark rights and intellectual property by filing a counterclaim.”

Zimmerman’s suit also targets Bassiri’s merchandise website manager Scott Hutchison, a former Toronto DJ who had shared pictures on social media in 2010 depicting deadmau5 tracks playing in the background. The artist notes that, given this evidence, it is “inconceivable” that Hutchison and Bassiri would be unaware of his use of “Meowingtons.”

As the suit continues, deadmau5 further disputes his opponents’ claims of obliviousness to his pre-existing professional use of the moniker by referencing his abundant appearance in the first page of Google searches for “Meowingtons” during the timeframe of 2013-14, when Bassiri would have been registering her own trademark.

“Thus, a simple Google search of “Meowingtons” at the time would have shown both a link to deadmau5 and his use of MEOWINGTONS in commerce in connection with, at the very least, deadmau5’s music,” Zimmerman claims in the countersuit. “If Counter-Defendants indeed engaged in diligence prior to adopting the MEOWINGTONS mark, they would have promptly uncovered deadmau5’s use of the mark.”

THR notes that deadmau5’s countersuit extends past his initial objective of canceling Bassiri’s trademark; now, he wants to take offline entirely, seeking “forfeiture of the domain, plus disgorgement of profits or statutory damages.”

Read Zimmerman’s full countersuit against Bassiri below:

H/T: THR, Your EDM

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