The Real Deal Los Angeles

Fred Segal brand sues over continued use of name on Melrose Avenue building

Branding firm Sandow wants CormackHill to remove the iconic billboard from its property
September 19, 2016 08:30AM

Fred Segal store at 8100 Melrose Avenue

Fred Segal store at 8100 Melrose Avenue

What’s in a name? For the owner of fashion brand Fred Segal, a lot.

Sandow, the New York-based media firm that owns the brand, has filed a legal complaint against property owner CormackHill for retaining the red, white and blue “Fred Segal” sign on the old Fred Segal store on Melrose Avenue, despite the fact that the 29,000-square-foot site no longer houses the brand.

USC law professor Daniel Klerman told the Los Angeles Business Journal that it’s an easy trademark infringement case for Sandow.

“It’s not really the name of the building; it’s who used to live there,” he said. “When they leave the sign there and sell the same thing, they’re telling the public we’re the same store, and deceiving them.”

The original Fred Segal store opened in 1961 and remained in the family until 2001, when it sold to the designer’s longtime insurance broker Bud Brown, along with a license to use the name. In March, the property was passed on to CormackHill for $43 million. It’s currently occupied by several retailers unaffiliated with the Fred Segal brand.

In the meantime, Fred Segal is planning to open at Runway Playa Vista. [LABJ]Cathaleen Chen