FORT PIERCE - A novelty merchandising company in Fort Pierce, Florida, is suing A&E Television Networks claiming its hugely popular show "Duck Dynasty" is violating U.S. law by using the trademarked phrase "My Favorite Color is Camo," according to a news release and court papers.
The federal lawsuit, filed Tuesday by the Fort Pierce-based Hajn LLC, alleged "willful trademark infringement" for its marketing and sale of merchandise for the reality TV show "Duck Dynasty'' using the phrases "My Favorite Color is Camo" and "My Favorite Color's Camo."
Uncle Si Robertson used the remark on the television show and made it popular — a phrase Hajn says it trademarked in 2011.
According to the suit, in January 2011, Hajn began designing, marketing and selling clothing and other items with the phrase "My Favorite Color is Camo."
By November 2011, the suit stated, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office issued to Hajn trademark 4,051,985 for the all-capitalized phrase "My Favorite Color's Camo."
A&E, which began airing Duck Dynasty in March 2012, also began selling merchandise that featured Duck Dynasty's Si Robertson making the statement "My favorite color is Camo," the suit claims.
A message left Thursday for an A&E official in New York City was not returned.
Hajn filed its three-count complaint after "A&E rejected Hajn's demand for A&E to cease and desist using its mark," alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement.
"A&E promotes its Duck Dynasty-branded merchandise through the show," a media release stated, "and A&E generated $400 million in revenues from sales of Duck Dynasty branded merchandise at Walmart in 2013 alone."
The lawsuit, filed by the West Palm Beach law firm Mrachek Fitzgerald Rose Konopka Thomas & Weiss, seeks to stop Duck Dynasty from using the phrases "My favorite color's camo," and "My favorite color is Camo."
The suit also seeks money damages, attorney's fees and a share of profits A&E gained from the alleged trademarked phrase.
"Our client is a hardworking and enterprising small-business owner who took the time and effort to trademark his intellectual property," Mrachek spokesman Greg Weiss wrote in a prepared statement. "We had no choice but to pursue his rights though this lawsuit after our warning went unheeded."