Deadmau5 and his team filed a lawsuit against West Coast Vape Supply on Thursday, March 31, claiming that their “deadmodz” e-cigarette line was infringing on his trademark and artist brand. Deadmau5, real name Joel Zimmerman, is reportedly suing for “trademark infringement and false association, and is seeking statutory and punitive damages and a permanent injunction to ban West Coast Vape from using deadmodz.”
At first look it seems that the team has a solid case – the original lettering and design of the “deadmodz” logo bears a striking resemblance to the deadmau5.
Multiple cease & desist letters were sent to Alham Benyameen, the principal of West Coast Vape. After February 5, the design of the logo and website were substantially changed.
Unfortunately for Benyameen, deadmau5’s transactional attornery Dina LaPolt wasn’t satisfied with the change.
“Please understand that your attempted changes do not negate that fact that you have violated and continue to violate our client’s rights, and thus are liable for, among other things, trademark and copyright infringement and attendant damages,” LaPolt writes. “In fact, your changes only highlight your acknowledgement and concession of wrongdoing, which admittedly is willful, knowing and intentional.”
The issue seems to stem from Benyameen’s resistance to reply to the cease & desist, opting rather to simply try to remedy the problem on his own without legal intervention. Deadmau5’s attorney Irene Lee was not satisfied with the change.
“Instead of conceding their wrongdoing and agreeing to comply with our requests, they refused to acknowledge deadmau5’s intellectual property rights and their wrongdoing, necessitating this legal action,” she writes in her statement to THR. “We intend to vigorously protect deadmau5’s rights.”