November 09, 2001 12:45am
Spice Entertainment Ltd. Sued By Spice Entertainment Inc.
Source: Letters to the Editor
by: Charles Lewis
Local businessman? Local to where? Adult Industry News received the story from a businessman who is local to somewhere in the world stating Playboy finds a similarity in their and his business names. Go figure. The story follows.
Industry giant PlayBoy threatens to sue small company with a great new concept for the adult market.
(BARBADOS ) -- The Playboy bunny is hopping mad and is threatening to sue a local businessman over the use of a website address. The multi-billion dollar United States based adult entertainment company, Playboy Enterprises Inc. on Tuesday sent a letter to Barbados based company Spice Entertainment Ltd warning the company to "immediately and permanently deactivate and cease use of your company name Spice Entertainment Ltd."
The letter signed by Julie Brown also ordered the company owned and operated by Charles Lewis to "immediately and permanently deactivate and dismantle the domain name spiceclubcard.com."
Playboy is claiming that Lewis' website domain name as well as the name of his business is a violation of the trademarked Spice Entertainment Inc, the parent company of Playboy's cable television services which has held and used the name for the over the last ten years to market a number of adult entertainment services. However, Lewis is standing his ground in the face of threats from the entertainment giant. In a reply to Brown he stated: "Please be advised that my company is legally registered in Barbados [and I] do no intend to change my name, or discontinue any project under this name. I am not satisfied you have any legal ground to fight and win against me on this matter." Lewis said yesterday his company set up the website spiceclubcard.com about a month ago as a special promotion for adult organizations around the world. When persons log onto the site and register they can download a free e-voucher to get FREE admission to gentleman's clubs and attractive discounts on other adult products and services.
But Playboy is claiming that the closeness of the two names it could likely cause confusion and deception and lead members of the public and industry to believe that Lewis' company was licensed, endorsed or sponsored in some way by Spice Entertainment Inc.
"This multi-billion dollar giant is trying to railroad this small businessman who is trying to start something new", Lewis told the press. "I am prepared to resist them. I have already spoken to my lawyer and I have not broken any trademark laws", he added.
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