November 12, 2018
As reported by HipHopDX, Freedom United, a California-based clothing company, has brought a lawsuit against Rihanna, Fenty Corp. ("Fenty") and Puma in the New York Southern District Court claiming that the “FU” mark used in the Fenty clothing collection infringes their existing trademark. They first sent a cease and desist letter in January 2018 and commenced the lawsuit on October 17, 2018 (Court File No. 1:18-cv-09504).
Freedom United claims that it has used the “FU” mark on t-shirts, hoodies, jewelry and skincare products since 2006. The trademark was first registered in 2006, abandoned in 2008 and renewed in 2014. Rihanna’s partnership with Puma was launched in 2015, and the allegedly infringing Fenty University line was part of the Spring/Summer 2017 collection.
Freedom United alleges that Fenty knew about its brand and notes that celebrities such as Demi Lovato, Kim Kardashian and Rihanna herself have been photographed in Freedom United apparel. It claims that the mark used by Fenty is confusingly similar to its own, and is seeking damages as well as an injunction to stop Fenty from selling any products with the FU mark.
Author: Sheena Singh