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Hollywood Chamber Wins Suit Against German Store’s Use of Sign, Walk of Fame

A German court has ruled in favor of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce in its legal effort against a Dorstein, Germany department store that featured an unauthorized ‘Hollywood’-themed shop and recreation of stars from the Walk of Fame.

Mensing department store and shopfitter Schleifenbaum Design & Project had claimed that the Chamber “had no claims whatsoever” over their use of the image of the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame because they did not have German trademarks.

But the court in Bochum ruled that the replication of the sign and the Walk of Fame “constitute unfair exploitation of the reputation (esteem) and unfair transfer of the image.” The Chamber, along with co-plaintiff Global Icons, had cited German law against unfair competition.

“The court’s determination that these companies violated the Chamber’s rights sends a message that companies outside the U.S. cannot violate our trademark and other rights,” said Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber.

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