French dance duo Justice have sent a cease-and-desist notice to Justin Bieber claiming that he used their trademarked “cross” logo on his upcoming album, Justice, Rolling Stone reports.
Per the outlet, after Bieber’s album announcement last month, Justice fans and their label claimed there were similarities between the title font on Bieber’s album cover and Justice’s own logo, where the “t” is accentuated to resemble a stylized crucifix.
Justice’s co-manager Tyler Goldberg said, “The morning Bieber announced his album, it was pretty tough to miss. Aside from seeing it all over the internet ourselves, we heard from hundreds of people throughout the day — industry people, Justice fans — and the Justice guys received a ton of messages, not only compelled to point out the similarities between the Justice Justin Bieber album, but confused. ‘Is this a Justice collaboration?’”
On March 10th, a letter from Justice’s counsel to Bieber’s lawyer and management, called for Bieber to cease and desist his use of “Justice” in tandem with the “cross,” a “Mark” which the duo trademarked in both France (in 2008) and the European Union (in 2014).
The letter stated: “Your use of the Mark is illegal. You have not received permission from Justice to utilize the Mark. Moreover, Bieber’s work is in no way affiliated with, supported by, or sponsored by Justice. Such use of the Mark is not only illegal, but likely to deceive and confuse consumers.”
An email sent out in April last year by Bieber’s team reaching out to Justice’s management in order to connect with the designer who created Justice’s logo was also included in the letter. A member of Bieber’s management team said, “We’re trying to track down the designer who did the below logo for Justice. Was hoping you could help point me in the right direction.” The designer replied in another email saying, “I’m available to discuss about logo design sometime next week.” However, after that initial email, Justice’s management says Bieber’s team ceased communication.
The letter goes on to say “Not only was Bieber’s team actually aware of Justice’s use of the Mark, they sought to use the same artist to essentially duplicate it for the Album. This is textbook bad faith and willful infringement.”
Despite the letter, Bieber’s Justice album is still set for release tomorrow, March 19th, as well as the release of Justice-branded merch featuring a cross on the front.
Justice’s management claim Bieber’s legal team did “reject” the cease-and-desist letter, arguing that the singer’s logo and merchandise did not infringe on the duo’s trademark.