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Oakley® sunglasses and Pitbull in court

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There’s some interesting sunglasses news this week, regarding a high profile legal battle. The parties concerned are the rapper Pitbull and the sunglasses giant, Oakley® Inc.

Sunglasses trademark infringement case

Pitbull, whose real name is Armando Perez, has hit the sunglasses maker with a trademark infringement suit in the Florida federal court. Oakley® has recently launched a line of sunglasses called “Pit Bull”. The rapper’s legal team claim that Oakley® is attempting to imply that the rapper still endorses the sunglasses maker. 

The suit points out:

“Defendants undertook these activities with full knowledge of the fame and popularity of the Pitbull marks, and with full knowledge of plaintiffs’ exclusive rights to the Pitbull marks and in wilful and intentional disregard thereof,” the suit says. "Having sponsored Perez’s 2009 concert tour, Oakley® possessed actual knowledge of, and expressly acknowledged, the fame of the Pitbull marks."

For those who don't know, sunglasses are a key part of Pitbull's image and he is seldom pictured without wearing them. In fact, back in 2009, Oakley® were sponsors of Pitbull’s tour. Their branding appeared on the tour’s marketing material and Oakley® also promoted their sponsorship of the tour on their website.

Things are further complicated by the fact that Pitbull has his own line of shades; Pitbull Dale Sunglasses. It will be interesting to see which way this case goes. As usual, the only parties guaranteed to win are the lawyers.

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