T.I. Scores Legal Victory In Akoo Clothing Dispute; Sales Of Clothing Line Spike
Atlanta rap star T.I. scored a major victory in court last week in the battle over the trademark to his Akoo Clothing line.
Akoo International filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against T.I. in March of 2010, after a controversial billboard ad in Newark, New Jersey created controversy in the city.
The ad featured a young woman kneeling in front of a man, pulling down his Akoo jeans, with her tongue sticking out.
The racy billboard advertisement was condemned by the city's mayor, Cory Booker and was eventually taken down, due to negative press and pressure from local activists.
On Friday, a federal judge refused to grant Akoo International an injunction against T.I.'s clothing line, which would have barred the rapper from using the name in commerce and immediately halted sales.
The judge ruled that Akoo International has not presented enough evidence to prove that consumers are being confused by the names.
Although the lawsuit is ongoing, the judge allowed T.I.'s Akoo Clothing line to continue to use the Akoo trademark.
The news comes as reps for the rapper revealed to TMZ.com that sales of the clothing line have spiked almost 25% since T.I. was incarcerated in September of 2010, for violating the terms of his probation, by being in possession of ecstasy.
T.I., who served 11 months of a year-long sentence, was released from federal custody on September 15th, and is currently finishing up his sentence in an Atlanta area halfway house.
He is due to be released September 29th, but must still complete a year of probation.