It hasn't exactly been smooth sailing for A&E's onetime ratings juggernaut "Duck Dynasty," which endured a feeding frenzy in the media late last year — not to mention a subsequent plunge in ratings — after comments by Robertson family patriarch Phil Robertson were widely criticized as anti-gay, among other complaints.
In the latest brouhaha related to the reality show, The Hollywood Reporter's Hollywood, Esq., reports that the cable channel has been sued over a comment by Uncle Si Robertson, who reportedly said on the program: "My favorite color is camo."
"The line soon made its way onto T-shirts and hoodies, but according to a lawsuit filed in Florida on Tuesday, A&E couldn't camouflage its role in participating in trademark infringement," THR reports. "The plaintiff is a company called Hajn, which has been selling a line of apparel that's branded, 'My Favorite Color's Camo.' The company has a registered trademark and reports gaining national visibility with its mark."
The story reports: "According to the complaint … A&E has merchandising deals with Sears, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s, Sports Authority and Target. The deal with Wal-Mart is said to have generated $400 million for A&E last year alone. A&E used Robertson's 'My favorite color is camo' line on clothing, states the complaint."
Hajn reportedly sent a cease-and-desist letter to A&E, which is accused of ignoring the letter and going ahead with promotion of the clothing line.
The lawsuit accuses A&W of trademark infringement and unfair competition, and states: "A&E’s use of the name has led to instances of confusion, including instances of reverse actual confusion, in that customers either believe that Hajn is selling Duck Dynasty apparel, or that Hajn’s apparel and related novelty goods are based upon the show."
The suit is seeking an injunction along with unspecified monetary damages, the report notes.
In a separate legal tussle, the Robertsons appear to be on the other end of a trademark battle. "They are currently engaged in their own battle with a Napa Valley winery over rights to 'Duck Commander' wine," the THR report notes.