Report an infringer
The following names have recently been brought to our attention for using our authorized trademark without permission: Tony Valentine, Marcus Vairco, Jordan Dizon, Billy Dreer, Ray Hammond, Damien and Jerry Henderson.
Like many famous brands, Chippendales is constantly policing its rights by engaging watch services around the world that monitor government filings, trade directories and the Internet for potential infringements. Our most potent weapon against infringers is our loyal fans who continuously report unauthorized performances by dance troupes purporting to be the Chippendales. If you hear of a Chippendales performance not listed on our site at http://www.chippendales.com, it is almost certain to be an imposter. We encourage our fans to report such incidents to us by filling out the above form, calling 866.CHIP.999, or by mailing the details of such performances to:
95 East Bethpage Road
Plainview, NY 11803
If the information you provide leads to the cancellation of the infringing show, we will provide you with two complimentary tickets during the next year to any one of our authorized productions.
Under its current management, Chippendales has enjoyed a perfect record in every legal proceeding initiated to protect its intellectual property.
Winchester "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but a world-famous male dance group doesn't feel honored at all with what they call blatant deception by a copycat group.
Despite advertisements announcing that the Chippendales will perform on Aug. 2 at Sweet Caroline's nightclub in Winchester, officials with the exotic dance troupe insist that the group is not scheduled to perform at the club on that or any other date.
Chippendales Vice President of Global Operations Kevin Denberg said on Wednesday that the Winchester performance "has absolutely no relation to the world-renowned Chippendales brand."
After learning that they had unwittingly booked a copycat dance troupe, management at Sweet Caroline's said on Wednesday that they have spoken to the legitimate Chippendales organization and cancelled the Aug. 2 performance. The club has also pulled all advertisements for the show.
Under the laws of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the word Chippendales is trademarked and licensed for the exclusive use of the Plainville, N.Y.-based dance group for all performances and merchandising.
"To protect the integrity of our brand and our customers, Chippendales Entertainment's legal team prosecutes these infringers to the fullest extent," Denberg said.
According to Denberg, the photo of dancers used in the advertisement, which was provided by the copycat group and appeared in Wednesday's edition of The Winchester Star, was lifted from the Chippendales Web site, www.chippendales.com.Denberg said that such copycat groups are becoming more common, and club owners should watch out for fraud when offered the deal of a lifetime from a so-called Chippendales troupe.
"I feel bad for the club's owners," Denberg said about Sweet Caroline's. "But the club probably paid a surprisingly low amount to secure this group. When you pay that low a price for a group like ours, you have to suspect you are not getting the real thing."
Denberg said the real Chippendales group lists all of its performances on its Web site.
Denberg would not name the organization that offers the phony Chippendales, but said he believes the men are part of a group that has performed similar scams in Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.
In March, the same copycat act performed at Stable Pit and Pub, a restaurant in Conneaut Lake, Pa.
Restaurant owner Wanda Ramaley said the troupe charged $15 for admission and accepted no further payment.
"They got the door [proceeds] and we got the bar [proceeds]," she said.
By Robert Igoe
The Winchester Star
The sold-out Chippendales show scheduled to take place at 202 Market in Roanoke on Sept. 18 was canceled Wednesday after promoters learned they had been hoodwinked by a fake version of the world-famous male erotic dance troupe.
About 250 fans were disappointed to be stripped of their chance to see the real thing, but their money will be fully refunded and both 202 Market and the official Chippendales company are offering consolation gifts.
"You just wouldn't think there would be people out there who could do this," said the restaurant's events and promotions director, Jo Jo Soprano.
Chippendales managing partner Kevin Denberg called 202 Market "an innocent bystander" and said fraudulent groups have tried to pass themselves off as the Chippendales in the past.
"I've been in the business for 12 years and it's a problem that comes and goes with some regularity," he said.
According to Soprano, he received a flier in the mail that indicated the Chippendales were on tour, would be swinging through Roanoke and would like to perform at their club. He responded enthusiastically but did not start to promote the show until he had tickets and posters in hand.
"That all had the Chippendales registered trademark on it, which is really what got us," Soprano said.
The Chippendales company was tipped off about the "deception" by a fan who noticed the Roanoke appearance was not listed on the official Chippendales website or Facebook page, Denberg said. The site invites visitors to report copycats, even promising a free pair of tickets to anyone whose tip leads to the cancellation of a show.
"Like many famous brands, Chippendales is constantly policing its rights" reads a statement on the website, which also says the company "has enjoyed a perfect record in every legal proceeding initiated to protect its intellectual property" under its current management.
Denberg said in general, the same handful of individuals has repeatedly come across their radar, but he did not know enough facts about the 202 Market incident to speculate about who might be behind it. He said Chippendales lawyers are investigating.
Soprano said his first inkling that something was amiss came when the real Chippendales removed event postings from 202's Facebook page. After speaking to representatives of the official dance group, Soprano called a man he'd been dealing with for the show."He said he had a signed agreement with the Chippendales that allowed him to use all that," said Soprano, who did not name the contact. But after the man promised to send a copy of the agreement, Soprano never heard from him again.
Denberg said it probably should have been a red flag that the group was only charging $15 per ticket, saying his dancers would likely fetch about $40 per ticket in a city of Roanoke's size. It also was suspicious that the group did not ask for any money upfront, he said.
Had the fake Chippendales shown up to dance, it would have been a "subpar product," Denberg said. According to Soprano, his contact at the Chippendale's corporate office said the act would likely have been much raunchier and more inappropriate than the real show.
That would not have been comfortable territory for 202 Market, which was disciplined by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control after an off-duty city employee unexpectedly peeled off his clothes during a charity bachelor and bachelorette auction in early 2011. The restaurant was ordered to stop selling alcohol for 10 days or pay a fine of $1,000 to shorten the suspension to three days. Soprano said they chose to pay the fine.
Denberg said the public is the real victim of the fake Chippendales snafu, but Soprano said fans who have stopped by the restaurant to get a refund have so far been very understanding and sympathetic.
Soprano said he would like to book the official Chippendales for a show at 202 Market in the future. Denberg said he could not say whether the club was a viable venue, but said it seemed like a nice place when he checked out the website.
Meanwhile, 202 Market is passing out coupon packets along with refunds to customers, and Denberg said the Chippendales would be happy to send consolation gifts, such as calendars or posters, to disappointed fans.
By Lindsey Nair
The Roanoke Times
Chippendales USA LLC vs. Tony Johnson, aka Tony Valentine, aka, Raymond Hammonds, aka Damien, aka Malibu, aka Billy Dreer, aka Billy Diamond
Civ. No. 99- CV-1154, United States District Court, Western District of Pennsylvania. In 1999, Chippendales obtained injunctive relief against 4 individuals for their unauthorized use of the CHIPPENDALES Mark and Cuffs and Collar Trade Dress. Subsequently two separate contempt proceedings were brought against Ray Hammonds for his continued violation of the court's order. The second claim of contempt was settled after Mr. Hammond provided assurances he would not infringe in the future, and agreed to pay Chippendales monetary damages and to stop all future use of the CHIPPENDALES Mark and the Cuffs and Collar Trade Dress.
Chippendales USA LLC vs. Gold Productions, Inc. and Jerry Henderson
Civ. No. 01-CV-1779, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Chippendales obtained a permanent injunction against defendant and $100,000 in monetary damages. Defendants were ordered to transfer the domain names (chipendales.com), (chippendales2000.com), and (chippendales2001.com).
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Latins Finest
WIPO Case No. D2003-0980. Respondent's (chippendalesfinest.com) domain name was transferred to Complainant.
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Hollandsch Goed BV
WIPO Case No. D2008-0049 Respondent's (chippendales.nl) domain name was transferred to Complainant.
Chippendales USA LLC vs. D. Deruisseau
Commercial Court of Tongerun in Benelux, 2004. Chippendales obtained an injunction against Defendant for infringement and compensation in the amount of 15,000 Euros.
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Atronic Americas, LLC.
Civ. No. 03-904, United States District Court, District of New Jersey. Chippendales sued a European based slot machine manufacturing company after it distributed Chickendales slot machines featuring dancing chickens wearing an imitation of the Chippendales famous Cuffs and Collar Trade Dress. The case settled based on the phase out of the machine. The settlement also included a monetary payment and the transfer of Defendant's registration for Chickendales in the United States and the European Union.
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Howard E. Ringer d/b/a/ Black Chippendales
Civ. No. 01-CV-01780, United States District Court, Southern District of New York. Defendant's state registration for Black Chippendales was cancelled. Defendant was enjoined from any future use of the CHIPPENDALES Mark, and was ordered to pay statutory damages in the amount of $100,000.
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Innovations
Civ. No. 00-CV-1016, United States District Court, District of Arizona. Defendant was permanently enjoined from using the Chippendales Mark, and ordered to withdraw its pending trademark applications with the United States Patent and Trademark office.
Chippendales USA, LLC vs. Henry Manfrediz
Civ. No. 00-CV-2703, United States District Court, Southern District of Florida. Chippendales obtained a permanent injunction against Defendant.