Beyonce sued by Abercrombie & Fitch over fragrance

Wed Sep 16, 2009 8:10pm EDT
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By Alexandria Sage and Jonathan Stempel

SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fierce is the battle against a pop diva's perfume.

Abercrombie & Fitch, the apparel chain known for its racy marketing and casual look, has sued Beyonce Knowles to try and stop the singer from launching a new line of fragrances.

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.

In English vernacular "fierce" means "cool" or "fabulous."

Media reports say Knowles, the former Destiny's Child frontwoman whose hits include "Single Ladies," "Crazy in Love" and "If I Were a Boy," plans to start selling a fragrance in early 2010 in partnership with perfumers Coty Inc.

Abercrombie 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.

But on Wednesday, Coty executives said they do not intend to name the fragrance after Beyonce's alter-ego -- Sasha Fierce -- and hence it would pose no threat to Abercrombie's product.

"The terms Fierce and Sasha Fierce are not being used as names of a Beyonce fragrance," read a statement from Coty.   Continued...

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