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Madonna sued over Material Girl clothing line for Macy's

Taylor-momsen-material-girl Madonna may have branded herself as a material girl in the 1980s, but she may not have been the first to put the "Material Girl" brand name on clothing -- that last bit according to a lawsuit filed Thursday by apparel manufacturer L.A. Triumph Inc., which says it's been selling millions of bucks worth of Material Girl clothing since, oh, 1997.

That'd be the year after Madge's daughter and clothing collaborator Lourdes Ciccone was born.

The lawsuit states that those millions have been earned at a similar price point, selling out of similar stores, Reuters reports -- to put it in Madonna terminology, this used to be their playground.

The clothing line, a partnership with Macy's, was announced in June and launched in stores this month, with "Gossip Girl" star Taylor Momsen stepping out as the face of the tween collection.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Taylor Momsen, the face of the Material Girl clothing collection by Madonna, performs at a Macy's in New York on Aug. 3 to launch the line. Credit: Louis Lanzano / Associated Press

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Comments () | Archives (3)

Christie D'Zurilla here from the blog with a reminder that we don't publish comments that include profanity, even if you put in dashes or symbols or whatever.

Feel free to resubmit clean.

//cdz

I don't know enough about the specifics of the lawsuit, but "Material Girl" by Madonna was written and a huge hit many years before 1997. The only reason there is a clothing line called that was to capitalize on HER (and Warner Bros.') copyrighted song, as well as her fashion persona. The same way it would be if someone wanted to create a clothing line called "Lady Gaga" or "Poker Face" and think no one would be running to buy the clothes because of the current pop star.

In the realm of copyright on this clothing line, Triumph has the upper hand. Regardless of where the original name came from, it is widely used in our American vernacular. If Madonna didn't trademark it for clothing before Triumph did (trademarks have to be market-specific...clothing, toys, electronics, food and beverage, etc), then Triumph is the legal owner of it. If Madonna wanted to create a vodka called "Material Girl," and no one else is already in the marketplace with it, then it's all hers. It make not make sense, but that's how copyright, trademarks and our legal system works.


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