(CN) - Pitbull, the ubiquitous Miami rapper, sued eyewear giant Oakley Inc, claiming the name of its "Pit Bull" line of sunglasses infringes on his trademarked moniker.
In a lawsuit filed in Miami Federal Court, the rapper, whose given name is Armando Perez, acknowledges Oakley sponsored his 2009 concert tour and that he regularly wore their sunglasses while on stage and during interviews with the press, but he says this only underscores that Oakley is aware of overlapping demographics.
Perez owns the "Pitbull" trademark for many different goods and services, with the most relevant being eyewear. The suit alleges that Oakley's production of sunglasses using the name "PIT BULL" "exploit[s] Pérez's professional persona."
According to the complaint, Oakley's use of the name Pit Bull, creates an impression that the two are connected when, in fact, they no longer are.
He accuses Oakley of manufacturing the line of sunglasses "with the specific intent to deceive [and] mislead consumers as to the sponsorship, source and origin of the product offered by Defendants."
Perez markets and sells very similar products as Oakley, such as sunglasses and various other goods through his website. He has endorsed many companies over the years, including Kodak, Dr. Pepper, Bud Light, Pepsi, Fiat, Dodge, Playboy and Voli Vodka. He has not had any similar problems with these endorsements.
Perez is seeking injunctive relief as well as compensatory, treble and punitive damages on multiple claims, including trademark infringement and unfair business competition.
He is represented by Jaime Rich Vining of the Friedland and Vining Law Offices in Coral Gables, Fla.
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