Joel Zimmerman has worked hard to create his Deadmau5 DJ persona and is taking to intellectual property to fight for his rights. The Canadian electronic music DJ has filed a countersuit against online retailer meowingtons.com for using his cat’s name, Prof. Meowington, in their trademark.
Meowingtons.com begun in 2014, three years after Deadmau5 used his cat’s name to sell “tens of thousands of units” of merchandise and headlined the Meowingtons Hax tour and released a subsequent album and music video, according to Zimmerman.
“Two months ago, a company that hijacked our clients’ trademark MEOWINGTONS filed a lawsuit against our clients, deadmau5 and his companies, including Prof. Meowingtons Ltd,” Zimmerman’s lawyer Irene Lee told The Hollywood Reporter. “Despite our clients’ efforts to resolve the matter amicably, the company — which took the very mark as its name: Meowingtons, LLC — has been relentless, now forcing our clients to protect their trademark rights and intellectual property by filing a counterclaim.”
It was just a few months ago when the case began with meowingtons.com filing a case against the DJ after he tried to challenge Emma Bassiri (the owner of meowingtons.com) on her trademark application for the site at the US Patent and Trademark Office. The case has now escalated with this countersuit, with Zimmerman fighting more than just the trademark – he is now suing for trademark infringement, cybersquatting, and unfair competition with an eye towards winning forfeiture of the domain and disgorgement of profits or statutory damages.
He has also filed a case against Toronto DJ Scott Hutchison who manages Bassiri’s website. The Grammy-nominated artist claims that Hutchison was familiar with his work and had shared a photo of Deadmau5 tracks on his computer. Zimmerman claims that it would be “simply inconceivable” that the man was unaware of his pet Meowingtons when the website registered its trademark.