Burberry has filed suit against an Atlanta-based rapper/producer in New York federal court, alleging that he is infringing its trademarks by calling himself Burberry Perry and using its federally registered check pattern and equestrian trademark in connection with his album and social media pages. According to Burberry Perry Moise – aka Burberry Perry – is engaged in the “willful trademark infringement and dilution of the famous BURBERRY trademarks” and despite extensive efforts by Burberry to prevent Moise from continuing to engage in such behavior, the musician simply will not cooperate.

For the uninitiated, trademark infringement refers to the unauthorized use of a trademark on or in connection with goods and/or services in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake about the source of the goods and/or services. Trademark dilution, on the other hand, is the weakening of a famous mark’s ability to identify and distinguish goods or services, regardless of competition in the marketplace or the likelihood of confusion.

According to Burberry’s complaint, Moise has engaged in “obvious copying of the Burberry trademarks” with the “intent to benefit from the brand that admittedly inspired the ‘Burberry Perry’ name and

[his] Burberry-dependent persona.” The London-based brand alleges: “Inspired by Burberry and its trademarks—which have been used exclusively and continuously by Burberry and its authorized licensees for 160 years—Defendant adopted ‘Burberry Perry’ as his stage name, without the authorization of Burberry, and is using the fame and renown of the BURBERRY trademark for his own personal gain, to promote his albums, garner media attention, and grow a fan base, all to the detriment of Burberry.” Burberry alleges that Moise’s “use of ‘Burberry Perry’ is intentionally and directly inspired by Burberry, which Defendant freely admitted during a live Periscope1 broadcast on July 9, 2016” may infringes upwards of 20 of its federally registered trademarks, including those that extend to its name, checkered logo and its “Burberry equestrian knight on horseback” trademark, which are registered in an array of classes of goods and services, including for garments and accessories, and retail stores services, among others.

The fashion brand goes on to state that given its involvement in a number of music-related ventures, including its usage of musicians, such as John Epstein, Tom Atkin, Edward Larrikin, Kieran Webster, George Craig, Roo Panes, Sir Elton John, James Bay, George Ezra, in ad campaigns, Moise’s usage of the Burberry trademarks is particularly damaging. Burberry notes that it has partnered with Apple Music by way of “Burberry’s channel [which] showcases Burberry’s unique collaborations with emerging and iconic artists, featuring performances, songs, and films alongside regular playlists celebrating great musical talent past and present. Moreover, Burberry cites its launch of BURBERRY ACOUSTIC, “a platform that provides music and exclusive videos from emerging artists who are carefully selected by Burberry” and its “continuous use of the Burberry Trademarks in connection with the sale, distribution, and advertising of music since that time.”

The brand also alleges that the defendant’s music sheds a poor light on its company, which is known being “a global luxury brand with a distinct heritage and reputation of design, innovation, and craftsmanship.” In particular, Burberry claims: “Defendant’s release of ‘Beautiful Day’ on the ‘Burberry Perry’ album caused a social media firestorm about whether Kylie Jenner rapped Defendant’s lyrics, ‘I wish a f*ck n*gga would, yeah.’ Media and the public-at-large criticized the album, noting Defendant’s extensive use of profanity and autotune.”

Keywords: Trademark, Trademark infringement, Burberry, Perry Moise, Fashion, Burberry Perry.