Sean “Diddy” Combs has been hit with a lawsuit by Empress Haircare Products, over the usage of the name Empress, a perfume created by the Sean John Clothing Company.
Empress Haircare Products filed a lawsuit on January 10 in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York.
According to the lawsuit, representatives for Sean John attempted to file a trademark for the name Empress, even though they knew that a existing trademark had been granted to Empress Haircare Products.
Around February 2010, an attorney for Sean John contacted Empress Haircare Products, in an attempt to obtain the rights to use the trademark, in return for compensation.
Empress Haircare Products declined to enter an agreement with Sean John, and would not grant the rights to use the Empress mark.
Sean John then filed a second application to trademark the name “Empress Sean John,” but the application was also rejected, because consumers could have been confused by the similar names.
Attorneys for Sean John then allegedly contacted Empress Haircare Products, in an attempt to plead their case, claiming there would be no confusion in the marketplace.
Despite the legal issues surrounding the name, the lawsuit claims that the “Empress Sean John Perfume and Lotion” was released and is currently being marketed to the same target consumer as the Empress Haircare line of products.
Sean John is being sued for infringement of a federally registered trademark and unfair competition.
Empress Haircare Products is seeking damages of up to three times the amount suffered, in addition to three times the profits earned by Sean John’s Empress perfume line.