SAN FRANCISO — A financial company has filed suit against an overseas publisher that produces Elle magazine seeking declaratory relief for alleged threats made pertaining to a trademark.

Early Warning Services LLC filed a complaint Sept. 15 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Hachette Filipacchi Presse, alleging that the foreign publisher accused the plaintiff with baseless allegations.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on June 29, Early Warning Services LLC received a demand letter from the defendant that implied the defendant has a monopoly on all marks that include the four-letter sequence E-L-L-E and threatened legal action if the plaintiff did not agree to its demands, primarily that the plaintiff cease using the "zelle" mark. It also sets a 20-day response deadline and threatens legal action. 

The plaintiff holds Hachette Filipacchi Presse responsible because the defendant allegedly accused the plaintiff of violating the Lanham Act when it has not engaged in any conduct to cause dilution by blurring or tarnishment and accused the plaintiff on allegations that are meritless, overreaching and advanced in bad faith.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks declaratory relief from non-infringement and non-dilution of a trademark, attorney's fees, costs and further relief that the court deems just. It is represented by J. Michael Keyes of Dorsey & Whitney LLP in Palo Alto.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California case number 3:16-cv-05295

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
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