Last week, we ran a story about some of the more interesting items that Academy Award nominees would take home. After we, along with many other sources, like Vanity Fair, The Telegraph and Forbes, reported on it, it came to light that the bag actually isn't an officially licensed gift bag. Now, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is suing a marketer named Lash Fary for tarnishing the Oscar's image by marketing false Oscar gift bags.
According to USA Today, the original report included some strange items, like a "vampire breast lift" and a marijuana vaporizer. The academy went to court on Tuesday, claiming that unauthorized people and companies were using the Oscars' trademark for financial gain by associating the award ceremony with items that were "less than wholesome." The lawsuit includes charges of trademark infringement and dilution, and false advertising.
Fary, doing business as Distinctive Assets, sent out press releases last week detailing its "Everybody Wins at the Oscars" gift bag. The original stories that reported on the gift bag claimed that the bag was worth around $200,000. The Academy is seeking damages of three times whatever profits are realized from the sale of the bags.
"Distinctive Assets' continued use of the Academy's trademarks not only infringes the Academy's trademarks, but it is also likely to dilute the distinctiveness of the Academy's famous trademarks and tarnish their goodwill," the lawsuit said.
Distinctive Assets markets third-party items for associations to include in celebrity gift bags. The academy reportedly sent Fary a letter demanding that he make it clear in advertising and press releases that his gift bags are not officially licensed Oscar gift bags, but Distinctive Assets continued to market the bags as official gift bags.