Florida folks are suing “Duck Dynasty” good ol’ boys at A&E Television Networks LLC, claiming trademark infringement on a camo couture tagline.
The words used in the competing lines are almost the same. One says “is,” and the other uses an apostrophe-S.
Hajn LLC, a Fort Pierce-based designer, manufacturer and seller of novelty wear, has been selling apparel and bumper stickers with the words “My favorite color’s camo” since 2011.
A&E is accused of unfair competition and infringement because of a line of T-shirts and hoodies with the words “My favorite color is camo.”
“This merchandise was based upon Si Robertson making a statement on one of the shows that ‘My favorite color is camo.’ Based upon this, A&E began offering a line of children’s, women’s and men’s apparel” with the disputed words, the complaint said.
Hajn is represented by attorney Gregory Weiss of Mrachek, Fitzgerald, Rose, Konopka, Thomas & Weiss of West Palm Beach, who filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Fort Pierce federal court.
On Jan. 1, 2011, Hajn registered the Internet domain name www.MyFavoriteColorsCamo.com and began selling the merchandise.
Shops in Florida carrying the merchandise include West of Ole England, Al’s Army and Navy, Latitude 25, The Tackle Box, Big John’s Feed and Western Supply, Eli’s Western Wear and Byrd’s Western Store, the complaint asserts. Hajn also sells merchandise at festivals, sporting events and shows.
By Nov. 8, 2011, Hajn completed its trademark application and received a registration from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Hajn alleged A&E started marketing its version of the slogan on merchandise in March 2012.
The Hjan website went live in August 2012.
“A&E’s use of the name has led to instances of confusion, including instances of reverse actual confusion, in that customers either believe that Hajn is selling ‘Duck Dynasty’ apparel or that Hajn’s apparel and related novelty goods are based upon the show,” the complaint said.
On June 5, Weiss sent a cease and desist letter with a demand for monetary damages to Douglas Jacobs in New York, A&E’s senior counsel. Weiss asserts in the complaint that A&E said it was reviewing the demand, but no further response was received.
Hajn’s co-counsel is Robert Thornburg of Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist in Miami.
Merchandise tied to the Robertson family reality show has been lucrative for A&E. The network generated $400 million in revenue from sales of ‘Duck Dynasty’ branded merchandise at Wal-Mart in 2013 alone, the complaint said.
A&E has not answered the complaint. Jacobs did not respond to a request for comment by deadline.