Deadmau5, aka. the ever-outspoken Joel Zimmerman, is not one to avoid confrontation. He’s become infamous for his Twitter tirades, including disputes with pretty much everyone from Kanye West to the Disney Corporation.
Now he’s taking on the West Coast Vape Supply, who Zimmerman says are intentionally infringing on his Deadmau5 trademark to promote a false association with his brand. He is seeking a permanent injunction in order to ban the company from using its Deadmodz name, font and logo.
According to the lawsuit, filed last Thursday in California, the products “overlap with, are closely related to deadmau5’s Goods and Services and/or represent a natural zone of expansion for deadmau5, and such goods are or would be marketed and sold to the same types of consumers through the same channels of trade.”
“Our client faces unscrupulous people trying to take advantage goodwill associated with his intellectual property and his fame,” Deadmau5’s attorney Irene Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. “We are grateful for our fans and believe it’s our obligation to make sure our fans are not duped into buying things that Deadmau5 did not authorize.”
Zimmerman initially attempted to avoid taking legal action, with his lawyers first contacting West Coast Vape with cease and desist letter. The company promptly changed the website and logo design, but this did not satisfy Deadmau5 and his attorneys who then asked for a settlement. When they didn’t receive a second response, the case was filed.
“Instead of conceding their wrongdoing and agreeing to comply with our requests, they refused to acknowledge Deadmau5’s intellectual property rights and their wrongdoing, necessitating this legal action,” said Zimmerman’s legal team in a statement. “We intend to vigorously protect Deadmau5’s rights.”
Alham Benyameen, the principal of West Coast Vape has since responded, calling the lawsuit “Trademark bullying at its finest!”
This is not Deadmau5’s first trademark suit. In 2014, Deadmau5 hit back at an attempt by Disney to block him from trademarking his mouse-helmet logo by sending them a cease and desist letter, informing Disney that they were infringing on his own copyright by uploading a video to their website of Mickey Mouse that features the Deadmau5 track Ghosts ‘n’ Stuff.