The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and its licensing agent Global Icons have won a lawsuit in Germany against the Mensing department store, in Dorsten, Germany, and Schleifenbaum Design & Project over the unauthorized use of the Hollywood sign and the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Mensing had created a Hollywood-themed shop and environment with a large wall dedicated to the iconic Hollywood sign and also recreated over a dozen Walk of Fame stars on the store floor,” says Jeff Lotman, chief executive office, Global Icons. “We vigorously pursued Mensing and its design agent Schleifenbaum, and the court agreed with our position that the use of the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame trademarks constituted infringement.”
Mensing and Schleifenbaum were offered the opportunity to license the marks but opted not to, claiming that the Chamber had no enforceable trademark rights to the brands. The court in Bochum, Germany, asserted otherwise when it ruled in favor of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce on June 19.
“The court’s determination that these companies violated the Chamber’s rights sends a message that companies outside the U.S. cannot violate our trademark and other rights,” says Leron Gubler, president and chief executive officer, Hollywood Chamber. “This is the first time in more than 35 years of owning these trademarks we have been forced to take legal action internationally to protect them.”