Thursday, June 9, 2011
A brand new federal lawsuit may dampen the party mood at tonight’s re-scheduled launch of the new Michael Jackson “tribute” fragrances. Originally set for March 7—rather ambitious for a project that supposedly began in December, 2010—the private launch event was to happen at 9:00 p.m. this evening at the Pure nightclub at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
That loud thudding sound you heard yesterday was a 15-page legal complaint landing in the lap of Julian “Franck” Rouas, the colorful character from the Côte d’Azur who, along with the late singer’s father, Joe Jackson, was planning to market his-and-hers perfumes that celebrated MJ, without quite using his name or likeness on the products.
Turns out there may be a little problem with that.
The Michael Jackson estate’s corporate entity granted Bravado International Group exclusive rights to market merchandise—including fragrances—using MJ’s name and image. Yesterday afternoon in Federal District Court in Los Angeles, Bravado filed suit against Julian Rouas a/k/a Franck Rouas and his company Julian Rouas Paris, Inc. They claim trademark infringement, dilution, and misappropriation, along with copyright infringement and a bunch of other fun stuff.
Bravado wants a permanent injunction to stop Rouas from using the MJ name and images. They also want treble commercial damages, statutory damages, and punitive damages.
Curiously unnamed in the complaint is Joe Jackson.
FirstNerve has been following this slow-motion train wreck since January. The project got fishier as it went on; we didn’t think it would make it past its own hype. Our guess is that the Bravado lawsuit will squash it like a bug.
Exit question: Is there any chance this case won’t result in a summary judgment for Bravado?
UPDATE June 10, 2010
A better exit question: Is there any chance that this case won't result in a default judgment for Bravado because Monsieur Rouas simply fails to show up?