Beyonce sued by Abercrombie & Fitch over fragrance

Wed Sep 16, 2009 3:07pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage and Jonathan Stempel

SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK (Reuters) - A battle between the pop star and the fashion brand just turned fierce.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co, the apparel retailer known for sexy advertising and casual looks, has sued the singer Beyonce Knowles, claiming her plan for a new fragrance to be launched in early 2010 infringes on its existing trademark.

In a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Columbus, Ohio, Abercrombie claims a fragrance under the singer's "Sasha Fierce" label "poses a likelihood of confusion" with the retailer's own "Fierce" brand.

It said such confusion could deprive it of control over a trademark it has used since 2002, and perhaps cost it sales. The lawsuit seeks to halt potential trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices.

Representatives of Knowles did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Best known for clothing sold to teens and college-age adults, New Albany, Ohio-based Abercrombie said it has sold more than $190 million worth of fragrance under the Fierce name, and expects $64 million of sales in 2009.

Abercrombie sells Fierce at more than 350 retail stores and on its website, typically for $40 to $70 in bottles featuring a young man's muscular, nude torso. The fragrance is sprayed throughout stores via a scent machine or by store employees.

"A&F's intent is that all garments that leave the store have the FIERCE scent attached to them," the complaint said.   Continued...

<p>Beyonce performs during the American Music Awards in Los Angeles, November 23, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>