Virgin sues Virgin over use of name
August 19, 1999
Denver — Virgin Enterprises Ltd., owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, has filed a trademark-infringement lawsuit against a tiny distributor of exotic chocolates in a Denver suburb.
The lawsuit against Virgin Chocolates Inc., was filed on Aug. 13 in the U.S. District Court in New York.
Virgin Enterprises alleges the chocolate company ”committed and threatens to commit trademark infringement, trade name infringement, unfair competition, dilution and misappropriation,” and other torts.
Christopher Edwards, owner of Virgin Chocolates, said Wednesday he was not aware of the trademark lawsuit. But he said he received a letter April 9 from a New York attorney for Virgin Enterprises.
”They pretty much told us to shut everything down,” said Edwards, 40. ”I just don’t think Virgin can own everything with the ‘Virgin’ name.”
Virgin Chocolates, based in the north-Denver suburb of Thornton, sells a variety of phallic candies at $2.95 to $12.95 a piece over an Internet site:
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http://www.virginchocolates.com, a site that posts a restriction on viewers under age 18. Edwards also sells vitamins and supplements online.
He said he makes only about $30 a month from the chocolates.
Virgin Enterprises is a privately held international conglomerate, with $5 billion in annual revenues and 10,000 employees worldwide.
One business is located at the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver.