(CN) – Celebrity boutique Kitson sells a line of “designer drug” sports jerseys that infringes on the Vicodin trademark and makes it seem as if “popping Vicodin is a cool, ‘in’ thing to do,” the painkiller’s owner claims in court.
Pharmaceutical company AbbVie Inc. wants a federal judge in Los Angeles to stop Kitson and clothing designer Brian Lichtenberg from promoting and selling the jerseys and sweatshirts, which have the words “Vicodin” or “Xanax” over a number on the back, where a player’s name usually appears.
The boutique allegedly displays the shirts in its window with the promotional slogan, “Just What the Doctor Ordered.”
AbbVie says the shirts not only misappropriate its Vicodin trademark, but also harm the public by promoting irresponsible prescription drug use.
“This harm is especially acute for those influenced by fashion trends promoted through trendsetting retailers like Kitson, as they will be led to believe that AbbVie thinks popping Vicodin is a cool, ‘in’ thing to do,” the company claims.
Paparazzi often stake out the West Hollywood boutique to catch glimpses of high-profile customers such as Rihanna, Beyonce and Taylor Swift.
Billions of dollars of Vicodin have been sold since it was first released in 1978. More than 130 million prescriptions are written annually – more than any other prescription drug, according to the lawsuit.
AbbVie says it intentionally avoids marketing Vicodin directly to consumers. It has also invested heavily in promoting “safe and responsible prescription drug use,” according to the lawsuit, even launching an awareness campaign with the Partnership for a Drug Free America to educate parents on how to prevent teens from abusing prescription drugs.
The pharmaceutical company seeks an injunction and an unspecified monetary award, which it claims it will “donate in its entirety to prescription drug abuse outreach and educational programs.”
AbbVie is represented by Donald Ridge with Morris Polich & Purdy LLP in Los Angeles.
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