Published Mar 14, 2017No stranger to navigating the world of legal disputes, electronic music icon deadmau5 (a.k.a. Joel Zimmerman) is now being sued in a trademark battle over "Meowingtons" and "Prof. Meowingtons" to protect his pet cat's brand. While the latter is a feline social media superstar familiar to Zimmerman's followers, the former is a cat-themed online retailer.
In December of last year, Zimmerman filed a petition with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that sought to cancel a Florida woman's trademark on "Meowingtons" after his own was rejected, The Hollywood Reporter reports. The woman in question, Emma Bassiri, owns the website meowingtons.com, which sells cat-themed apparel.
Bassiri filed a lawsuit against Zimmerman in Florida federal court yesterday (March 13), which alleges trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit asks the court to rule that she has senior use and priority right to the trademark.
Zimmerman believes Bassiri picked the name because she is a longtime fan of his music and was aware of his celebrity cat's name. Bassiri denies these claims, saying Zimmerman's allegations are damaging both her business and reputation, The Hollywood Reporter reports.
"The act of naming your pet animal is not protected by the trademark laws of any country of which I am aware," a spokesperson for Bassiri explained. "The mouse [Zimmerman] is clearly the copycat in this case, and our legal team is confident that Ms. Bassiri, a creative and hardworking entrepreneur who has built a successful online retailing business, Meowingtons.com inspired by her love of cats, will prevail as the rightful and sole owner of the mark 'Meowingtons.'"
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Zimmerman's lawyer Dina LaPolt said: "Deadmau5 has been extremely generous and attempted to resolve this matter amicably. However, as demonstrated by their legal action, they have no intention to address and remedy their intentional infringement and now attempt to extort and deprive our client of his rights and we will take all available measures to protect and enforce his rights."
Zimmerman also provided a personal statement to THR that reads: "From the very beginning I was working to find a way to resolve this situation amicably. Now I am forced to litigate this woman out of existence. Bye bye Emma Bassiri. I am going to protect the trademark I have been using since 2011."