International basketball star LeBron James has recently become embroiled in a trademark dispute because of his barbershop video series. The creator of “The Social Club,” another barbershop video series, claims that James and his company, Uninterrupted, stole the idea of a barbershop-based talk show from him.
According to the plaintiff, Adventure Enterprises, James’ show, “The Shop,” directly stole the unique concept for “The Social Club,” which is “a dual-purpose barbershop and content studio whose mission, in addition to providing haircuts, is to support cultural discussion, building community, personal growth, and diversity.”
At “The Social Club,” Adventure Enterprises films “Shop Talk,” which is “a program where guests consist of local and national celebrities who share their business stories and other insights while getting their hair cut.”
The plaintiff and owner of Adventure Enterprises alleges that he exchanged numerous email conversations and texts messages with an employee of Uninterrupted in which he described the concept for the show in detail over a two-year period.
An interesting twist to all this came when James’ company filed its own cease and desist letter against the University of Alabama for its own version of a similarly-themed talk show concept. The irony of the fact that James’ company would accuse the university of the same kind of wrongful conduct that it was committing was not lost on the trademark infringement complaint filed by the plaintiff in this case.
If you’re embroiled in a trademark dispute, you may want to investigate your legal rights in terms of federal trademark laws. By successfully navigating your lawsuit, you may be able to protect your right to generate income from a particular trademark or business concept.
Source: Forbes, “LeBron James In Trademark Tangle Over Barbershop Web Series,” Michelle Fabio, April 18, 2018