Jared Leto probably never thought this would happen to him…
“Suicide Squad” star Leto is being sued by Penthouse — but before you close the curtains, lock your bedroom door and cue up the wah-wah pedal, slow your roll; despite the involvement of both Penthouse and Leto, sexy times are decidedly not ahead in this story.
Leto and his company Paradox LLC are being sued by Penthouse Global Media in a lawsuit filed in federal court in California on Thursday.
According to the suit, Leto is working on projects that would, according to the suit, infringe on Penthouse’s registered trademark.
Not the Penthouse, trademark, mind you — the trademark for Omni, which derives from the science fiction and science magazine co-founded by Penthouse boss Bob Guccione and launched in 1978.
The majority of Penthouse’s gripe about the Omni mark appears to pertain to the launch of an online magazine by Jerrick Media — also among the many defendants listed in the lawsuit — that “contains archival material from the original OMNI magazine, including magazine articles and reproductions of OMNI magazine covers, all without the permission or consent of Penthouse.”
However, Leto isn’t without fault in this whole alleged trademark imbroglio, according to the suit.
“For example, on or about June 26, 2017, Variety magazine online (www.variety.com) reported that Defendants Jared Leto and Paradox LLC had partnered with Defendant Jerrick Media to produce original content using the OMNI Marks,” the lawsuit reads. “Similarly, www.pagesix.com reported that Jared Leto had partnered with Defendent Rick Schwartz to
develop a futuristic television anthology under the OMNI Marks.”
And according to the suit, that would be a very naughty thing to do.
“Defendants’ use of the OMNI Marks is likely to cause and/or has actually caused confusion in the marketplace by creating the false and mistaken impression that Defendants’ publication of an OMNI online magazine and related activities are affiliated, connected or associated with Penthouse, or that they originate with, or are sponsored or approved by Penthouse,” the suit reads.
“Penthouse is informed and believes, and based thereon alleges, that Defendants’ purpose in using the OMNI Marks was and is to deceive, mislead and confuse customers and the public into believing that Defendants’ online magazine and related activities are affiliated, connected or associated with Penthouse, or that they originate with, or are sponsored or approved by Penthouse, and to trade on the substantial and historical fame, notoriety, reputation and goodwill associated with the OMNI Marks.”
In a statement released Friday, Jerrick Media said, “The Company believes the lawsuit is without merit and intends to vigorously defend against it.”
TheWrap has reached out to Leto’s representative for comment.
Alleging copyright infringement, trademark infringement and a host of other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.