Online Store Sues Conde Nast To Ward Off Trademark Infringement Claims

By Joseph Mandour on October 12, 2012

magazines-thumb-200x132-50296 Orange County – Voguevert LLC, a company that sells luxury goods online, hit Conde Nast with a declaratory judgment suit on Friday seeking to avoid liability for infringing the magazine publisher’s trademark for the name of Vogue Magazine.

Voguevert claims in its complaint in Ohio federal court that its use of the trademark Voguevert does not constitute trademark infringement, and that it is entitled to continue all of its activities in connection with that trademark and the related website Voguevert.com.

Voguevert sells various luxury goods, including handbags, jewelry and accessories designed by “green” or environmentally conscious designers for environmentally conscious women under the Voguevert trademark. It has sold such goods on its website since August 2011.

The company applied for a federal trademark for the name Voguevert with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in July 2011, and was granted the trademark in July 2012.
Conde Nast, formally named Advance Magazine Publishers Inc., sent Voguevert a letter through its counsel in May, claiming that the use of the Voguevert trademark constituted trademark infringement and unfair competition, and demanding that Voguevert immediately stop using the trademark.

If Voguevert did not comply with the written demand, Conde Nast said simply that it would “pursue its available remedies,” according to Voguevert’s complaint.
On Sept. 5 Voguevert received another letter from Conde Nast’s counsel, accompanied with a draft petition for the cancellation of Voguevert’s trademark registration and a draft complaint,alleging that Voguevert activities constituted trademark infringement, unfair competition, and that Voguevert’s use of its trademark constituted trademark dilution. The draft complaint sought preliminary and permanent injunctions, damages and attorneys fees.

In awarding the trademark registration to Voguevert, the PTO found that its trademark was not likely to be confused with any of the Vogue trademarks, Voguevert asserts.
“Voguevert is legally entitled to continue the use of its Voguevert mark, and to continue its use of the URL www.voguevert.com, and Voguevert’s activities do not infringe or legally dilute any trademark rights of AMP,” the complaint says.

Conde Nast has not yet responded to the complaint.

Related Articles: