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Deadmau5 countersues in cat-based trademark case

By | Published on Tuesday 16 May 2017

Deadmau5

The cat case is evolving, everybody. Deadmau5 has countersued the online seller of feline-themed nonsense that may or may not have been named after the producer’s cat.

As previously reported, back in March Deadmau5 – real name Joel Zimmerman – was sued following a long-running dispute over who has the best claim to the name Meowingtons, which is both the name of Zimmerman’s pet (well, it’s called Professor Meowingtons) and the cat tat selling website meowingtons.com.

The founder of Meowingtons the company, Emma Bassiri, sued Zimmerman after he filed a petition with the US Patent & Trademark office challenging her registration of the Meowingtons trademark. Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he is countersuing accusing Bassiri of trademark infringement, cybersquatting and unfair competition.

It is probably worth mentioning that Zimmerman’s cat is well known to the producer’s fanbase, has its own Instagram account and featured on merch sold by Deadmau5 to his fans prior to the launch of meowingtons.com. Hence his claim to ownership of the name and that Bassiri is confusing his fans and damaging his business.

Though back in March a spokesperson for Bassiri disputed those claims, insisting that “the mouse is clearly the copycat in this case”. They told reporters: “The act of naming your pet animal is not protected by the trademark laws of any country of which I am aware. 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'”.

After filing the countersuit, a legal rep for Zimmerman, Irene Lee, told THR: “Two months ago, a company that hijacked our clients’ trademark Meowingtons filed a lawsuit against our clients, Deadmau5 and his companies, including Prof Meowingtons Ltd. Despite our clients’ efforts to resolve the matter amicably, the company – which took the very mark as its name: Meowingtons LLC – has been relentless, now forcing our clients to protect their trademark rights and intellectual property by filing a counterclaim”.

Zimmerman is also suing Scott Hutchison, a former DJ who apparently manages the cat tat website. This is related to the producer’s claim that Bassiri was aware of his use of the Meowingtons brand before setting up her business. The new legal filing includes a photo posted to social media in 2010 showing Hutchison playing Deadmau5 tracks on his computer. Zimmerman argues that it is “simply inconceivable” that Hutchison was unaware of Professor Meowingtons before Bassiri’s website opened for business.

So that’s all fun isn’t it? Professor Meowingtons himself remains silent on the dispute.



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