The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is suing the creators of the lavish gift bags handed out at awards shows for misrepresenting their (nonexistent) association with the governing body.
The Academy claims that Distinctive Assets, which this year is offering gift bags valued at $200,000 to Oscars nominees, has committed trademark infringement in an effort to appear affiliated with the Academy Awards.
“The Academy has no affiliation, connection or association with Distinctive Assets’ ‘gift bags’ or their contents, and certainly does not sponsor, endorse or approve of Distinctive Assets, its services, or the products it promotes,” a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court stated.
“Yet Distinctive Assets uses the Academy’s trademarks to raise the profile of its ‘gift bags’ and falsely create the impression of association, affiliation, connection, sponsorship and/or endorsement,” the suit continued.
The suit then provides several examples of what the Academy claims is a false connection drawn by Distinctive Assets between itself and the Academy Awards, including tweets that read, “Everyone Wins At The Oscars ®! Nominee Gift Bags,” and “Everyone Wins Nominee Gift Bags in Honor of the Oscars ®.”
Despite repeated written warnings by the Academy to Distinctive Assets, the lawsuit claims that the company has made no attempt to address the misperception of the gift bags’ association with the Oscars amid a recent wave of media attention.
The Academy claims it is entitled to three times the profits made by Distinctive Asssets from the use of trademarked material, in addition to demanding a permanent injunction against the company “in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution or advertising of goods or services, or in any manner likely to cause confusion or mistake or to deceive the trade or public as to the source or origin of defendants’ products.”
Distinctive Assets did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment.