T.I.’s Akoo Clothing Line Sued for Trademark Infringement
Earlier this month, the city of Newark forced T.I.'s Akoo clothing line to remove a provocative billboard that sparked uproar among city residents. Now, the company is battling trademark infringement allegations over its name.
Akoo International -- which markets itself as the world's largest social music television network -- has filed a lawsuit against T.I. and Akoo Clothing over trademark infringement. The lawsuit alleges that the company has owned rights to the name "Akoo" for several years, before the rapper's urban line came long. The company's CEO, Niko Drakoulis issued a statement explaining the basis for the lawsuit.
"Akoo has been recognized as a leading social TV platform for connecting brand advertisers with millions of our engaged viewers," Drakoulis said. "Our primary obligation and goal is to prevent confusion of trademark law. At the same time, Akoo has been invested nearly a decade of effort and substantial capital to deploy its network and will do everything in its power to protect its brand."
Akoo International provides video programming to over 86 million monthly customers on-the-go, allowing them to use mobile phones to control on-screen programming. The company explained that the lawsuit was necessary in order to protect clients from confusing the two brands, which are both marketed in shopping mall and entertainment arenas. The media company even went as far as citing Akoo Clothing's billboard fiasco in Newark for drawing negative publicity to their brand.