July 23, 2014 9:21am PT by Eriq Gardner
A&E Television Sued Over 'Duck Dynasty' Camo Clothing (Exclusive)
On an episode of A&E's Duck Dynasty, Uncle Si Robertson proclaimed, "My favorite color is camo."
The line soon made its way onto T-shirts and hoodies, but according to a lawsuit filed in Florida on Tuesday, A&E couldn't camouflage its role in participating in trademark infringement.
The plaintiff is a company called Hajn, which has been selling a line of apparel that's branded "My Favorite Color's Camo." The company has a registered trademark and reports gaining national visibility with its mark.
Then along came Duck Dynasty, featuring the Robertson family, owners of Duck Commander Company, which manufactures popular duck calls.
According to the complaint (read here), A&E has merchandising deals with Sears, Walmart, Kohl’s, Sports Authority and Target. The deal with Walmart is said to have generated $400 million for A&E last year alone. A&E used Robertson's "My favorite color is camo" line on clothing, states the complaint.
The cable television network then promoted it on social media:
Hajn says that A&E never responded to a cease-and-desist letter.
"A&E’s use of the name has led to instances of confusion, including instances of reverse actual confusion, in that customers either believe that Hajn is selling Duck Dynasty apparel, or that Hajn’s apparel and related novelty goods are based upon the show," says the lawsuit.
A&E is now being sued for trademark infringement and unfair competition. The plaintiff demands an injunction and an unspecified amount of monetary damages. The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to A&E and will add any comment the network has.
Meanwhile, as sophisticated entrepreneurs, the Robertsons understand trademarks. They are currently engaged in their own battle with a Napa Valley winery over rights to "Duck Commander" wine.