FASHION LAW: BETTIE PAGE TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT LAWSUIT
Bettie Page Clothing, owned by Russian model and clothing designer Tatyana Khomyakova, grew into a successful chain with 17 stores in the U.S. and Canada. For the past six years, the Bettie Page boutiques toted the namesake “Queen of Pin-up’s” 1950s image as its style. The Indianapolis personality-licensing company CMG Worldwide has revoked the right to use Page’s name and image from the high-end boutique, including the massive images of Bettie Page laminated across the walls of the boutique.
The legality of intellectual property has been a struggle for Bettie’s passing in 2008 has left her boundless collection of iconic pinup imagery in the hands of her estate – not news to CMG. The trademark misuse of Bettie Page has been used without permission through the years; organizations like the Major League Baseball and Warner Bros. were both former rivals in trademark battles against Bettie Page. Generally, CMG’s lawsuits are filed against those who conduct fraudulent behavior upon their 300+ celebrity names and likenesses. In the matter between Bettie Page Boutique and CMG; CMG is suing for longtime and significant licenses.
Bettie Page Clothing recently had a harsh decline in sales this past winter and was late in paying CMG it’s Bettie Page licensing royalties, which are set at 4% of their sales. CMG has recently cut off the chain’s licensing rights as of this past March, with an estimated of $1 million over due bill from Bettie Page Clothing Boutiques. The clothing store chain has counter-sued CMG of fraud and breach of contract, accusing the corporation of violating the rules of franchising and trying to achieve ultimate control of its retail chain operations, when it is not a franchise to begin with.
The lawsuits are still in pursuit, fighting it out in litigation with no updates at the moment. Page, still remains as one of the top marketable celebrities as ever; she makes it onto Forbes as the 8th top-earning deceased celebrity. Rounding up with an estimated $10 million in annual income just off licensing.