July 27, 2005 04:59am
Crush Wins Case Against WCP
Source: Crush Entertainment
by: Company Press Release
West Coast Productions Shuts Down "Azz Like Whoa" Video Series After Crush Entertainment Alleges Federal Trademark Infringement of Its Ass Like Whoa Brand.
Crush Entertainment has won a wide-ranging legal victory against West Coast Productions in an effort to protect its "Ass Like Whoa" trademark from infringement.
Crush Entertainment - which was founded in 2001 and owns AssLikeWhoa.com, JoiRyda.com, and the affiliate program CashLikeWhoa.com - took immediate action after finding out that West Coast would release a new video line called "Azz Like Whoa" on March 7 of this year.
Crush Entertainment legal affairs director T. Victor Stevens said his company was deeply concerned by West Coast's Azz Like Whoa title -- which is nearly identical to Crush's Ass Like Whoa name -- and said Crush was prepared to dig in for a long legal battle if necessary.
"From the start we saw this move by West Coast as a blatant and egregious infringement on our Ass Like Whoa brand and we hired a top lawyer to make sure that West Coast was stopped," Stevens said. "We thought that their tactic threatened the very existence of our company. It was something we could not - and would not - tolerate."
According to the terms of an out-of-court settlement, West Coast Productions must:
1. Pay Crush Entertainment an undisclosed amount in damages.
2. Pay all legal fees and costs that Crush Entertainment incurred during the legal dispute.
3. Stop production of its new Azz Like Whoa video line after producing only one volume under that name.
4. Pay for the worldwide recall of thousands of copies of its Azz Like Whoa DVDs and VHS products that have already reached video store shelves and are being sold by online outlets.
5. Never again use the Azz Like Whoa title on any future VHS or DVD releases or other products.
According to a legal recall notice that was sent to West Coast's distributors, all Azz Like Whoa titles previously sent to any video store or online outlet must be immediately recalled and shipped back to West Coast Productions for reimbursement or a replacement video. Under the terms of the legal agreement, West Coast must cover any shipping and handling costs incurred during the recall.
Any store owners and webmasters still selling WCP's Azz Like Whoa video should contact West Coast Productions immediately for a copy of the recall notice and instructions on how to comply with the recall.
"This is a huge, clear-cut victory - and a very good day for the entire Crush Entertainment family," Stevens said. "We are happy that this situation has been resolved. They are still recalling their videos, and now we can focus again on giving our fans the high-quality Ass Like Whoa products they love and expect from us."
Crush Entertainment was represented by trademark attorney Holly Pranger of the Pranger Law Group, who is the same lawyer who recently helped three-time AVN performer of the year, Lexington Steele, win the rights to his domain name in a highly-publicized cybersquatting case.
Pranger said West Coast's use of the Azz Like Whoa name would likely have created a false designation of origin and could mislead the public into thinking the video is sponsored by or associated with Crush Entertainment's Ass Like Whoa brand, which has been on the market since November 2001.
"The trademark Ass Like Whoa is distinctive in the industry and Crush Entertainment is smart to protect its valuable intellectual property asset. The adult entertainment industry is built almost entirely on trademarks, performer names and copyrighted material, all of which may be protected under federal and state laws, but I am still shocked by the amount of infringement that is tolerated," said Pranger.
Pranger said Crush Entertainment has filed for a federal registration of its AssLikeWhoa trademark, which will increase the amount of protection it is currently afforded under the law. According to Pranger, every performer should register his or her name and every trademark should also be registered to ensure maximum protection under the law.
"This industry is no different than any other business, and if you do not enforce your intellectual property rights you risk losing them," said Pranger.
Stevens said he believes that West Coast Productions use of the Azz Like Whoa title "would have piggybacked on our name and profited from the years of goodwill we already created with our fans and business partners throughout the industry."
"Our marketing and promotional work over the past four years has established the Ass Like Whoa product as a worldwide presence in adult entertainment, particularly in the ebony niche," he said.
After receiving letters threatening legal action if West Coast did not stop using the Azz Like Whoa title, WCP would not admit any wrongdoing but agreed to change the name of the Azz Like Whoa series to something else different from Ass Like Whoa.
Pranger said evidence of potential confusion surfaced immediately after West Coast announced it would release Azz Like Whoa. After a February 26 article appeared on AVN.com about West Coast's planned ALW release (, Crush Entertainment received numerous emails from customers of AssLikeWhoa.com and people in the industry asking if it was associated with the video or if WCP was authorized to use the ALW name. And industry discussion boards like EbonyTraffic.com were buzzing with chat speculating that it was direct copying.
Crush Entertainment is a global leader in the ebony adult marketplace and provides adult entertainment and adult video content to a worldwide audience. The company is a provider of adult entertainment and adult videos featuring women in the increasingly popular "big booty" niche. Traffic for the website AssLikeWhoa.com has been ranked as high as the 88,000th most popular website out of tens of millions of websites on the Internet, as ranked by Alexa.com. CashLikeWhoa.com has been ranked as high as the 25,000th most popular site on the Internet. Both websites and the AssLikeWhoa trademark are featured on, linked to, and promoted by numerous other adult websites around the world. In addition, hundreds of websites promote Crush Entertainment's AssLikeWhoa.com, JoiRyda.com and other sites through the CashLikeWhoa.com affiliate program. Crush Entertainment websites have over 100 adult videos for sale and has over 20,000 model shots for viewing. The company's videos are sold in all 50 states in the United States and more than 60 countries around the world.