Barber shop trade mark infringement swipe at LeBron James
Web series concept is the basis of a trade mark infringement suit against basketball star, LeBron James.
Adventure Enterprises, who trades as The Social Club Grooming Company, is a functioning barbershop which also offer a social space. Many users, including athletes and musicians, use the shop as a place in which to tell their stories, whilst receiving a haircut.
The founder of Adventure Enterprise, Sebastian Jackson, states he started work in 2014 to enable him to develop the barbershop discussions concept into a web series, called ‘Shop Talk’.
To secure this, he has registered the term ‘Shop Talk’ as a trade mark in the US in 2016.
In order to get the concept off the ground, Jackson alleges that he had a number of discussions with Uninterrupted between 2014 and 2016, in an attempt to seek partnership.
Uninterrupted is a multimedia platform established by basketball player LeBron James.
However, while these talks did not progress, Jackson claims that his ideas and concept were ‘stolen’ by Uninterrupted and developed into ‘The Shop’ which was broadcast by James’ platform in December 2016 and featured LeBron James talking about his experiences in a barbershop setting.
Sebastian Jackson claims that this is an infringement of his trade mark, as the ‘shop talk’ mark was used.
In an attempt to prevent this infringement, a cease and desist letter was sent to Uninterrupted and James but this was not noted.
Uninterrupted denies any wrongdoing and claims the ‘shop talk’ mark is generic.
It seems this matter is not the norm as Uninterrupted has filed a complaint of IP infringement of their own against Alabama University who also have a ‘Shop Talk’ series.
It will be interesting to see how this matter is dealt with and ultimately who will have the last word.