Marco Bellini Apparel Company Owner Sues Amaru Entertainment, Inc. (Tupac Shakur's Mom's Company) for Trademark Infringement

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As a proximate result of defendants' actions, plaintiff has suffered and will continue to suffer great damage to its business, goodwill, reputation, profits and the strength of its trademark. The injury to complainant is and continues to be ongoing and irreparable.

Today, Isaiah Israel, owner of a company that designs and markets t-shirts under the Marco Bellini label announced he has filed suit against Amaru Entertainment, Inc. (defendant), a record and film production company founded by Afeni Shakur - mother of late rap artist Tupac Shakur. Seven years after her son's passing, Afeni Shakur established a clothing line, which she named Makaveli Branded. Israel alleges that by using the mark MB, Shakur's Makaveli Branded infringes on his company's trademark under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq.; 15 U.S.C. § 1114(a); and unfair competition, passing off, false advertising and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) arising from the defendant's unauthorized use of the mark MB on clothing. Monetary damages are unspecified.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND:
On June 26, 1998, Israel filed U.S. Trademark Serial No. 75/509,410. The mark was published for opposition on November 19, 2002, and registered on November 4, 2003. Israel has been actively engaged in marketing and selling clothing bearing the mark MB for nearly nine years. Israel further contends that Amaru Entertainment, Inc. has been marketing clothing under the mark MB since approximately 2004.

Before filing this suit, Israel made verbal requests to the defendant to provide appropriate attribution and acknowledgement of Israel's ownership of the MB mark. Upon each request, Israel was ignored and rebuffed.

COMPLAINT:
According to Israel's complaint no. 07-C-3124, the defendant's willful actions (1) have the likelihood of affecting interstate commerce by deceiving or confusing the public throughout the nation; (2) constitute a false designation of the defendant's goods or services by passing them off as being associated with Israel; (3) suggest a non-existent connection with Israel; (4) suggest that Israel has sponsored, licensed or approved of defendant's goods, services, or businesses; and/or (5) could cause the MB mark to become generic in the eyes of the general public and destroy the origin-identifying function of the MB mark.

Israel believes he is entitled to a permanent injunction against the defendant, as well as all other remedies available under the Lanham Act, including, but not limited to, compensatory damages; treble damages; disgorgement of profits; and costs and attorney's fees.

Israel filed complaint no. 07-C-3124 June 6, 2007 in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division.

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Christopher E. Haigh

Isaiah Israel
Marco Bellini
773-238-3330+
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