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
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
"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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