A company filed suit against A&E last week over the use of the slogan "My favorite color is camo."
The phrase is used by the network to promote "Duck Dynasty" merchandise, but was trademarked by Hajn, LLC in November 2011. Hajn alleges federal unfair competition, infringement of a federally registered trademark, and common law unfair competition.
Hajn is an apparel and novelty item manufacturer founded in 2009 that sells t-shirts, bumper stickers, mugs, hats, and other items. The company registered the domain name MyFavoriteColorsCamo.com and began selling merchandise with the slogan "My favorite color's camo" in 2011. The items are available in Florida retail stores and online.
A trademark application for "My favorite color's camo" was filed in 2010 and granted in November 2011 without contest.
A&E premiered the reality show "Duck Dynasty" in March 2012. The series has gone on to become one of the highest-watched shows on television, and has broken several viewership records. The show also generates hundreds of millions of dollars for A&E annually through licensing. Forbes reported that the network made $400 million in merchandise sales in about 18 months.
Hajn's lawsuit alleges that at least some of that revenue has come from the sale of merchandise with Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson's likeness and the phrase, "My favorite color is camo." The "Duck Dynasty" men are engrossed in the duck hunting industry, and frequently wear camouflage clothing. The lawsuit also alleges that Uncle Si said the phrase on an episode of "Duck Dynasty."
A cease and desist letter was issued on June 5, however, Hajn's attorneys state that A&E has continued to sell the contested merchandise.
"A&E's use of the name MY FAVORITE COLOR IS CAMO is likely to cause, has caused, and will continue to cause, confusion among customers as to the origin, sponsorship or approval of Hajn's apparel products," the lawsuit states.
Hajn is asking for an injunction on the alleged trademark infringement, and for compensatory damages, treble damages, attorney's fees, and other monetary relief.