NAACP Suing Unofficial Chicago Branch for Trademark Infringement

NAACP Suing Unofficial Chicago Branch for Trademark Infringement

The NAACP has accused an unofficial Chicago branch of infringing its trademark. In a complaint filed yesterday in the Northern District of Illinois, the NAACP South Side Branch has been accused of trademark infringement, dilution, false advertising, and fraud.

"Defendants are engaged in a scheme," the NAACP says, "to deceive the public by pretending to be acting on behalf of Plaintiff, one of the most well-known and highly-respected civil rights organizations in the United States."

In the state of Illinois, the Chicago Southside Branch #3005 is the officially sanctioned and recognized branch of the NAACP. The defendant, NAACP South Side Branch, was formed after an officer election was disputed at the official Chicago branch.

After its formation, the NAACP South Side Branch allegedly distributed by electronic mail a flyer publicizing a "Rally to Protect the Voting Rights Act." Neither the NAACP's President nor its General Counsel approved this rally as is required by the NAACP's By-Laws.

"Defendants' scheme," the NAACP says "is based on engendering the false belief among the public that Defendants' communications and actions are those of Plaintiff, a well-known, highly reputable civil rights organizations, when in fact Plaintiff has nothing to do with the communications and planned actions of Defendants."

The NAACP is seeking injunctive relief and  compensatory damages on several counts in the amount of at least $100,000.


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