LOS ANGELES — LFP IP, the licensing company arm of the LFP and Hustler brands, has filed a federal lawsuit against the online retail apparel store AmericanHustlerClothing.com, claiming that its owner is infringing on its trademark and cybersquatting.
The suit, filed at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, names Dublin, Ohio, resident Lee Keith Brett and alleges that he “intentionally and willfully" traded off of the famous “Hustler” marks by selling “American Hustler” branded apparel.
AmericanHustlerClothing.com has a lineup that includes for sale T-shirts, hoodies and hats — all branded with the phrase “American Hustler.”
LFP said that it has more than two dozen trademarks that are “incontestable” and that Brett, who launched his retail operation in November, has failed to respond to the adult entertainment company’s demands.
In the suit, LFP said that Brett’s use of the “American Hustler” mark will result in consumer deception and confusion.
LFP said that it got wind of Brett’s retail operation after he filed a U.S. trademark application in June over his “American Hustler” design in connection with “online retail store services featuring clothing and billboard products.”
In September, LFP attorneys filed a protest regarding Brett’s trademark application and in October U.S. Patent and Trademark Office examiners refused to register Brett’s application because of a likelihood of confusion with three of LFP’s marks.
“Defendant Brett, in contravention of the rights of plaintiff LFP, continues to operate the website located at AmericanHustlerClothing.com to sell apparel, and has otherwise failed and refused to remove the Hustler marks from his website, advertising and apparel,” LFP’s suit said.
With the suit, Brett, who could not be reached for comment by XBIZ, faces an injunction over the use of the “American Hustler” mark, unspecified monetary damages, an order to surrender for destruction all apparel and signage related to the brand and a transfer of the AmericanHustlerClothing.com domain name, among other forms of relief.
A spokesman for Larry Flynt, the president of LFP and Hustler, declined comment over the case.