P. Miller and his newly launched P. Miller Designs have become the targets of a lawsuit from Pepe Jeans, who alleges the mogul is committing trademark infringement.
Pepes lawsuit centers on Millers logo which encompasses the letter P encircled with wings.
According to P. Miller, formerly Master P, the US Patent and Trademark Office has his first use date recorded in public record as April 1, 2003, while Pepes registered mark falls on June 1, 2003.
I went to the website of PepeJeans.com and couldnt find a circled-P anywhere, on their clothing, or the brand advertising within the site, Miller explained to AllHipHop.com. Im the future of affordable fashion and big brands will always hate me, but they shouldnt throw stones if they live in a glass house!
Since hes revamped his image from gangsta rapper to community-conscious businessman, Miller further argues hes become the target for frivolous lawsuits.
I make clothes for underprivileged and underserved families. P. Miller designs is about diversity. We cater to the African-American and Latino customer, Miller elaborated. Im doing something positive for the community and Im giving back. What are they (Pepe) doing? Hating? I thought this kind of thing only happened in the rap game. I put out a charitable rap album last year, made no money on it, tried to send a message to the kids about taking profanity out of their music, and because it came through Wal-Mart I was targeted with a lawsuit.
Despite the lawsuit coming just as Miller has finalized a partnership with Wal-Mart to carry his brand, he plans to not only fight the allegations but will also counter-sue on the ground of malicious interference with his company.
Im the brand of the community. I sell jeans for $20 and t-shirts for $10. People dont buy my clothes for the logo. They buy them because its high-fashion at an affordable price, Miller reasoned. I guess they didnt do their homework. I am also filing a countersuit against Nitin, Arun, Milan Shah and Pepe Jeans London, LLC for tortious interference with my business and future business with Wal-Mart. And since they saw fit to go after my retailer, I will return the favor and file suit against several of their retailers like Macys, Dr. Jays, Nordstrom, and Eastbay.
At press time, Pepe Jeans has not released any public comments on their pending lawsuit.