FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida – A cosmetics company is suing the movie studios behind "Bee Movie" claiming they had already trademarked the marketing slogan "Give Bees A Chance" use in the movie's advertising.
Fort Lauderdale-based Beeceuticals LLC sells cosmetics and skin care products made with organic honey. The company filed an application to trademark the slogan in October 2006, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit was filed Nov. 1 in federal court against Dreamworks Animation SKG, Inc. and Paramount Pictures Corp.
The animated film was released Nov. 2 and features the voice of Jerry Seinfeld, who also co-wrote and co-produced the movie.
Since March 2007, the slogan has been used more than 400 times on radio personality Howard Stern's satellite radio show to brand all Beeceuticals' products and services, the lawsuit said.
Stern is a cousin of Richard Gerber, who is a director of the cosmetics company, said the company's attorney Elliot M. Zimmerman.
"It's his mark. They can't use it," Zimmerman said. "They damaged us and cost us some people who would have bought from us ... It's not right what they did."
The lawsuit said that in April and May 2007, a Beeceuticals marketing plan and other copyrighted works, including the slogan, were presented to the movie studios.
Zimmerman said experts were calculating the extent of financial damages caused to the company by the ads.
A spokeswoman for Paramount Pictures said it was the company's policy not to comment on pending litigation. A telephone message left at Dreamworks offices for comment was not immediately returned.