Madonna sued over 'Material Girl' clothing line

MadonnaImage Credit: Stephen Lovekin/Getty ImagesMadonna is being sued by a clothing company that claims she’s ripping off the name of their “Material Girl” juniors line. In papers filed yesterday with a U.S. District Court in California, L.A. Triumph says that it and a previous company have been selling a “Material Girl” line of clothes for young women in department stores around the country since 1997. Madonna and her daughter Lourdes launched their own line, also called “Material Girl,” just this month.

L.A. Triumph is asking the court to stop Madonna from using the “Material Girl” name and make her hand over any profits she’s made with it. My non-legal-expert self feels compelled to note that L.A. Triumph’s line was almost certainly named after a Madonna song in the first place, but that may or may not have anything to do with the legal issue here.

Madonna’s rep has not responded to EW’s request for comment. In a statement provided to EW, L.A. Triumph’s lawyers say the suit “is necessary to protect L.A. Triumph’s valuable intellectual property rights before its brand is irreparably subsumed by Madonna’s new Material Girl line.”

What do you think of this story? The comments section awaits.

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Comments (25 total) Add your comment
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  • Ryan

    Experience has made her rich, and now they’re after her.

    • Henry

      LOL. Nice

    • RyRyNYC

      BRILLIANT

  • Brett

    They are idiots for suing her.

  • Joe

    Certainly her people were smart enough to copyright the term “Materiel Girl” way back in the 80s before that song was huge. Even if they weren’t, maybe the fact that she (or whoever produced the record, WB) own the term in some way. Not sure how music copyrights work out.

    But really, I feel like this will just be bad for them, as they could end up losing their name.

    And really, isn’t the fact that Madonna is releasing this line good for them> I’m sure a few of their consumers would be dumb enough to buy their products because they got it confused with the madonna ones. oh well.

    • Brooke

      You can’t copyright a phrase or a title. You can trademark it for commercial purposes, though, which the other clothing line may have beaten her to the punch on.

      • bellecat

        You are exactly right. If they trademarked the words for a clothing line then they have a solid case as they to market first and they can certainly prove copyright infringement. If Madonna wants to try to trademark the phrase for a different business purpose, she can certainly try to do that.

        Incidentally, Madonna did not write the song Material Girl so she has no legal standing here as a copywriter whatsover.

        I say this as as a Madonna fan and an intellectual property student

  • Sarah

    They are suing her for using the name of her own song? Oh boy.

  • Go L.A. Triumph

    You people have got to get over Madonna. Unless she or someone in her camp have registered that term “Material Girl” it is free for ANYONE to use. Just because she has a song named that doesn’t make those words hers and hers alone. Wow. do I need to pay her something for using those words? See how that goes. Good for them!

  • Landon D

    It is ridiculous. Though technically she probably will lose. If they were able to apply TradeMark status to their line of clothing, then Madonna will lose. It doesn’t matter if she had a song named the same or not. It just doesn’t work that way. And it’s interesting to note that they took this long to file suit. I think they waited long enough for Madonna to sell a significant number of products before formally filing. It would seem that their own clothing line hasn’t been performing well so they let Madonna and Lourdes make significant amounts of cash for them FIRST! Let’s not overlook the other fact that Madonna and Lourdes product line was likely more expensive as well. A very sour but legal approach on L.A. Triumph’s part. Shameful. And very unfortunate that Madonnas legal team didn’t look into this first.

  • Peter

    Good for the company-They obviously have a good lawsuit and Madonna and child will have to change the name of their clothing line–Nicknames should not be allowed to be trademarked or person names for that matter just for the sake of being done–but if a product line is named-it deserves to have that name

  • Jay

    I’m no legal expert, but if I was on a jury, I’d certainly beleive any argument that Madonna has the rights to the term, as she made it famous first. and, in fact, this clothing line would end up having to change their brand and forfeit it to Madonna.

    Just my 2 cents

    • bellecat

      You’re right. You are not a legal expert. Keep your two cents.

  • Janizzle

    I don’t think LA Triumph should get the profits that Madonna made, that sounds ridiculous. The new “Material Girl” line should get its name changed, though…it seems pretty clear to me.

  • tap

    This is an interesting spin on the story, because there really isn’t any talk about “trademark” infringement… the way it is worded here, “do not have the right to trade in the same space” under the brand” suggest that they do not have a trademark on “Material Girl”, and probably know that they would have trouble getting a trademark if they tried… in fact, Madonna’s camp could claim “intellectual property” rights… looks like a frivilous suit to me, and that LA Triumph may actually be the company that is in trouble…

  • paige

    change it to Material Girls. lawsuit over

  • margaret

    Madonna will probably just pay them off to change their name. They’re in for a lot of money. Well played!

  • TRUTHBEKNOWN

    WOW WHAT A BUNH OF DAM F–UCKING IDIOTS!! IF ANYONE DESERVES TO SUE AND CLIAM MATTERIAL THIFT ITS MADONNA WHO’S BEEN KNOW AS THE MATTERAIL SINCE THE START OF HER CAREER AND EVEN HAD A GLOBAL HIT SONG TITILE MATERIAL GIRL U DAM MORRONS OVER 25 YRS AGO SO SHE SHOULD OF SUED THE AS OFF THEM FOR STEALING THAT NAME IN 1992 IN THE 1ST PLACE!

  • TRUTHBEKNOWN

    WOW WHAT A BUNCH OF DAM F–UCKING IDIOTS!! IF ANYONE DESERVES TO SUE AND CLIAM MATERIAL THIFT ITS MADONNA WHO’S BEEN KNOWN AS THE MATERIAL GIRL SINCE THE START OF HER CAREER AND EVEN HAD A GLOBAL HIT SONG TITILE MATERIAL GIRL!!
    U DAM MORRONS OVER 25 YRS AGO SO SHE SHOULD OF SUED THE AS OFF THEM FOR STEALING THAT NAME IN 1992
    IN THE 1ST PLACE! MAN SOME FOLK HAVE THE NERVE THEYLL TRY TO SUE U IF U BLOW A FART AS U WALK DOWN THE STREETS NOWADAYS

    • Miranda

      If you want your opinion to count, spell check it first…jeez!

  • Red

    the term was a nickname used in the media, not a title or brand. And Madonna has made a career of infringing on others art/work in fact she has been sued and lost in Belgium for “Frozen”, for her “Hollywood” video and for “Swept Away”to mention only 3. This type of law suit against her using an-others “material” is a re-invention of past suits. Its got to suck for her kid, however. How Madonna thinks she is correct in making hundreds of millions on a charity imaging tour giving 6 million to orphans with Aidz in Africa and then purchasing herself a 40 million dollar loft and dishing out 70 m to a husband is beyond. But she’s very convincing at selling the caring image so people buy into it… She has made a career out of infringing on others livelihoods and work-and should have complained in the 90’s about “Material Girl”. This is her karma for ripping off artists for years and now it infects her daughter as well. Imagine that. I hope she wins to show how unoriginal Americans really are or care. hiccup

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