In one of the crazier legal battles we’ve covered on Your EDM, the “Meowingtons” trademark is being fought over by deadmau5, whose cat is named Meowingtons and is itself a particular brand, and meowingtons.com, owned by Emma Bassiri.
The timeline is as follows: Back in December, deadmau5 discovered that Bassiri was using the meowingtons.com site URL and petitioned the US Patent and Trademark Office to revoke her trademark. This stalled in process as Bassiri then sued Deadmau5 in March of this year, citing false claims regarding her business.
“Zimmerman has also made false and unflattering comments about my client. Ms. Bassiri is not currently, and has never been a fan of, or ever met Mr. Zimmerman,” a statement read. “Ms. Bassiri takes offense and vigorously denies Zimmerman’s untrue statements and reckless accusations made against her that have unfairly tarnished her reputation and diluted Meowingtons.com’s customer goodwill.”
Now, the suit has escalated even further, with deadmau5 countersuing Bassiri for trademark infringement, cybersquatting (i.e., the practice of registering names, especially well-known company or brand names, as Internet domains, in the hope of reselling them at a profit) and unfair competition over her site’s name.
“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,” attorney Irene Lee tells The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
In addition to deadmau5’s countersuit against Bassiri, he’s also suing Scott Hutchison, a former Toronto DJ who manages the cat-themed merchandise website. Deadmau5 states that it’s highly unlikely that a Toronto DJ who managed the site around the time of 2010 was unaware of who deadmau5 (or more importantly, his cat) was.
“[…] 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,” states 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.”
via Hollywood Reporter | Image via Matt Barnes