ATLANTA — LFP Inc. has filed a motion for default judgment with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office trial and appeal board against the operator behind HumbleHustler.com, who sells "lifestyle and attitude" apparel for men and women on the site's online storefront and had sought a trademark for the brand.
LFP, in its initial brief filed in late August, claimed that it opposes an application for "Humble Hustler" for a U.S. trademark because it has a mark for the "Hustler" brand and that the entire application should be void as a fraud on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In the case, the applicant, Denee Adams of Georgia, had applied to use the trademark "Humble Hustler" for a laundry list of consumer soft products — numbering in the hundreds — including A-shirts to snow suits to yoga pants. Adams' company, according to court records, started up the website in May 2013.
But LFP, which owns the Hustler mark for an equal amount of consumer goods both adult entertainment- and mainstream-oriented, told the appeal board that the Hustler trademarks "have become distinctive and the public has come to know the Hustler marks as an indication of goods and services that originate" from the longtime adult entertainment company and that there is a likelihood of consumer confusion over the "Humble Hustler" brand.
Further, LFP attorneys said, Adams had produced and marketed only three goods so far — crop tops, T-shirts and tank tops — against USPTO application rules that necessitate for them to be used in commerce when a trademark is applied for.
"As applicant has not used the mark in commerce in connection with all of the identified goods since the date alleged in the declaration, the entire application should be void ... as a fraud on the Patent and Trademark Office," LFP attorneys said.
Adams, who did not respond to XBIZ over the trademark case, operates the "Humble Hustler" online apparel shop to "recognize the necessity of maintaining the integrity and dignity to be humble, nevertheless behind success of any man or woman … is the hustler," according to its online mission statement.
LFP, however, sees it another way. The company feels it has been hustled over its "Hustler" brand and won't have any part of it.
"Hustler is a famous brand and trademark recognized the world over, and, as such, is subjected almost weekly to unauthorized parties trying to hijack its name," LFP spokesman Arthur Sando told XBIZ. "We are increasingly aware of this and staunchly vigilant in our efforts to take whatever legal actions necessary to protect the Hustler identity."
Last month, LFP has moved for a default judgment last month against Adams because she's failed to respond to the proceeding. The appeal board has yet to act on the motion for default judgment.