Distributor Sues MTV|Over Latin American Deal


     MANHATTAN (CN) – A $30 million plan to sell MTV-branded clothes and luggage in Latin America went south because the network never secured the rights to its logos, according to a new complaint.
     On Oct. 13, 2010, MTV Networks and its owner, Viacom International, signed an agreement granting Sam Panama Trading and Samoda International licenses for certain “names, logos, copyright and trademarks,” according to the complaint in federal court in Manhattan.
     The alleged agreement, attached to the complaint, covered clothing, baggage, luggage and other products, to be distributed throughout more than 30 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
     The Panamanian distributors claim they “spent many millions of dollars” manufacturing and marketing the products and expected to make more than $30 million selling them, before they got a rude awakening.
     “Contrary to their representations and warranties, defendants had never registered the licensed marks and logos in many of the territories licensed to plaintiffs under the agreement.
     “In fact, when plaintiffs shipped goods bearing the licensed marks and logos for marketing in many jurisdictions they were seized by authorities as infringing upon the trademark, copyright and proprietary rights of third parties,” the complaint states.
     MTV and Viacom “knew or should have known that third parties had or claimed to have the right to use the licensed marks and logos,” the distributors say.
     The two companies demand $30 million plus punitive damages for breach of contract.
     They are represented by Dennis Reich of Reich & Binstock in Houston.

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