NeNe Leakes Accused Of Stealing A T-Shirt Design [Details]
Rucuss staffJanuary 20, 2015
Real Housewives of Atlanta star NeNe Leakes has been accused of stealing a shirt design.
According to Tees in the Trap, which is described as a “black-owned family business that creates state tees based on pop culture and the urban girl experience,” Leakes stole their “Girl, bye! shirt idea, and is trying to trademark the phrase.
Leakes sent a cease and desist order a year after the family owned business began selling the shirt. Now they are reaching out to media outlets to tell their side of the story. The company wrote:
Tees in the Trap sent our retailer Olori Swank of Swank Blue several of our shirts at the end of October to sell at her pop up shop in Atlanta. Nene Leakes visited the shop on November 1st 2014 and purchased our black and white Girl Bye tee in large that was stamped with our logo in the collar.
A few weeks (est.) later she posts a photo of herself wearing our shirt on Instagram. Of course her fans went wild about the shirt saying she needs to be selling this shirt.
Two weeks later she launches an online shop with the same exact design as our Girl Bye tee – a shirt we’ve been selling since we launched in April 2014. Of course we were infuriated and confused. Nene claims to be above shady business dealings, but blatantly stole our shirt design and store concept.
While we can’t stop her from selling a Girl Bye tee, we did legally stop her from selling a design that looked exactly like ours. That must have made Nene upset, that we had her shirt removed and she had no power or control over doing otherwise.
She has now changed the font completely and is selling her own version of the shirt, which was completely fine with us until she had her lawyers send us a cease and desist letter saying that we had no right to have her shirt taken down and since she’s more popular and made the saying “Girl Bye” famous that she has the exclusive right to use it on shirts and we don’t, so we need to take ours down. NO ACTUAL legal defense other than, she’s more famous.
Nene filed for a trademark of the words GIRL BYE in January 2015, almost a year after we started selling ours.
Clearly Nene thinks she’s dealing with an amateur. We aren’t a bootleg IG boutique and in some states sending false cease and desist letters is a crime.
What makes us most upset is that we are small. Nene claims to be a rich b-tch, but steals ideas from little people like us and acts like it’s cool.
We are sending this email out to media outlets to prove that celebrities can not steal from small companies and go unnoticed. This is our message to NeNe Leakes, #GirlBye
We will see NeNe Leakes in court if she tries to bully us any further. According to the law, Common Law Trademark rules apply in our case, and we will be victorious!
Check out Leakes wearing the Tees in the Trap’s shirt, alongside her version of the shirt.
Photos via Instagram
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