Justin Bieber has received a cease-and-desist letter from Justice over the cover design of his new album.
The French dance duo and their team have taken issues with the title font of the ‘Love Yourself’ singer’s latest LP, ‘Justice’, because they have alleged their are similarities between the design of the wording and that of their own logo, where the ‘t’ is stylised to resemble a crucifix.
Justice’s co-manager, Tyler Goldberg, explained the similarity had been spotted as soon as Justin announced the album – which was released on Friday (19.03.21) – on 26 February and it sparked confusion that the Canadian pop star was collaborating with the ‘D.A.N.C.E.’ hitmakers.
He told Rolling Stone: “The morning Bieber announced his album, it was pretty tough to miss.
“Aside from seeing it all over the internet ourselves, we heard from hundreds of people throughout the day — industry people, Justice fans — and the Justice guys received a ton of messages, not only compelled to point out the similarities between the Justice Justin Bieber album, but confused. ‘Is this a Justice collaboration?’”
Although Justice’s label, Ed Banger Records, initially joked about the resemblance, on 10 March, a legal letter was sent to Justin’s team.
It warned: “Your use of the Mark is illegal. You have not received permission from Justice to utilise the Mark.
“Moreover, Bieber’s work is in no way affiliated with, supported by, or sponsored by Justice. Such use of the Mark is not only illegal, but likely to deceive and confuse consumers…
“Through your illegal co-opting of the Mark, you are now subject to immediate legal action and damages including, but not limited to, punitive and injustice relief.”
The legal letter also included an email sent by Justin’s team in April 2020 to Justice’s management seeking to connect with the designer who had created the duos logo.
It read: “We’re trying to track down the designer who did the below logo for Justice. Was hoping you could help point me in the right direction.”
Another email, from the designer to the ‘What Do You Mean?’ singer’s management, confirmed they were available to “discuss logo design”, but Justice’s team say Justin’s representatives ceased communication after the initial email.
Their co-manager, John Scholz , said: “Basically, the trail went cold. There was attempts to set up the introduction, and it never happened…
“Given that we have received emails from them where a member of [Bieber’s] management team specifically attached the Justice logo and asked to connect with the Justice logo designer; they mentioned it was to work on a Justin Bieber project, they did not give us any details about it, no mention of an album called ‘Justice’ or a logo using the word ‘Justice.’”
Justin’s team have not responded to the reports of the dispute, but Justice’s management alleged the singer’s representatives did “reject” the cease-and-desist notice, arguing his logo and merchandise did not infringe on the group’s trademark.
Tyler said: “Global patent and trademark offices do not police the use of trademarks by third parties. As a result, trademarks need to be defended at all times by the trademark holder.
“The onus is on the trademark owner to protect against an unlawful use by third parties, regardless of the third party being a billionaire manager or a music superstar.
“We’ll continue to protect the Justice logo — the trademark that was established 15 years ago — at all costs.”
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