Universal Percussion, Inc., which has been in the news recently for filing suit against Guitar Center, has also filed a lawsuit against Avedis Zildjian Co., accusing it of violating Universal Percussion’s rights in the trademarks S and S SERIES. Universal Percussion has used these on cymbals since 2002. Zildjian recently introduced a line of “S” cymbals and filed an application to register its “S” mark at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last October. Through widespread use for more than a decade and industry acceptance, Universal Percussion says its S and S SERIES marks have generated significant goodwill, and they’ve come to be associated with Universal Percussion and its products.
Universal Percussion alleges that Zildjian intentionally adopted a similar S mark for its cymbals to confuse or deceive customers into believing that Zildjian or its products are affiliated with, or sponsored by, Universal Percussion. The complaint alleges false designation of origin in violation of the federal trademark statute, along with several claims under Ohio state law. The civil action, which requests a jury trial, an injunction that restrains Zildjian from engaging in any further infringement and an unspecified amount of damages, was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (No. 4:16-cv-00832) by plaintiff’s attorneys Thomas L. Holt, Caroline A. Teichner and Brandon M. White of Perkins Coie LLP.
The Retailer has reached out to Zildjian to obtain comment on the lawsuit. If and when Zildjian offers remarks, we will update this post.