BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Houndstooth elephants are the subject of a federal lawsuit filed this week in Alabama.
GameDawg, a college clothing company Enterprise, on Tuesday filed a federal lawsuit against Original Houndstooth, a Tuscaloosa clothing store, alleging trademark infringement for use of a symbol – the outline of an elephant filled with a pattern houndstooth.
GameDawg claims in the lawsuit that he has continuously used a symbol on his clothing – a left-facing elephant with the houndstooth pattern – since September 6, 2009. His trademark on this symbol was published on July 12, 2011 , according to the lawsuit.
GameDawg established both common law and statutory trademark rights in the houndstooth elephant, according to the lawsuit.
Original Houndstooth uses a “puzzlingly similar” houndstooth elephant symbol on its products and in its online promotions, according to the lawsuit. An image of the original houndstooth symbol in the suit shows the outline of a right-facing elephant filled with what appears to be a smaller or tighter houndstooth pattern than that of the trademark symbol GameDawg.
GameDawg sells and promotes its products with the brand throughout Alabama, including outside of the University of Alabama’s Bryant Denny Stadium, according to the lawsuit. GameDawg has achieved brand identity and “valuable acquisition value” associated with its business and trademark, the lawsuit says.
The lawsuit says GameDawg sent a certified letter to an official at Glen Plaid LLC, the company doing business as Original Houndstooth, on November 2, 2011, stating that the store was infringing its trademark. “Glen Plaid refused to comply with the plaintiff’s request and continues to use the mark,” says the lawsuit.
Efforts to reach an Original Houndstooth manager for comment this afternoon were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit seeks injunctions to prevent Original Houndstooth from using the symbol and the profits Original Houndstooth made from the use of the symbol.
Update at 6 p.m. on May 9 to change the references of the houndstooth plaid