EXXXOTICA Releases Official Statement Responding to NFL’s Allegations
Offending Materials Were Removed & Condemned by Victory Tradeshow Management Before Last Week’s Cease & Desist from the NFL
June 20, 2011, CHICAGO, IL – Victory Tradeshow Management, the owner and operator of love and sex expo EXXXOTICA, released an official statement responding the NFL’s allegations of trademark infringement. On June 17, 2011, Victory Tradeshow Management received a cease and desist letter from the National Football League’s legal counsel. The letter pointed to advertisements from a Miami Beach night club and promoter using photos of players in uniform from teams in Chicago, Houston, San Diego and Kansas City to publicize an event in May that was a “party” while the EXXXOTICA Miami Beach expo was in town. The party also featured a handful of adult film stars.
While first reported on Chicago’s ABC affiliate WLS-TV, the incident went on to make national sports headlines. As explained to the NFL, EXXXOTICA and/or Victory Tradeshow Management was not the producers or promoters of the party in question. The event was listed as an “Official After Party” of EXXXOTICA Miami Beach due in part to a licensing agreement to use the Expo’s trademark, but there was no knowledge of the alleged involvement of the players or use of any images in question. Once discovered, all offending ads were promptly removed.
The official letter dated June 19, 2011 and addressed to Sarah Crutcher, legal counsel for the NFL, appeared as follows:
Dear Ms. Crutcher:
Please be advised that I am counsel for Victory Tradeshow Management (“VTM”). VTM is the owner and operator of the adult entertainment convention known as EXXXOTICA Expo Miami Beach. We are in receipt of your letter dated June 15, 2011. Please allow this letter to act as my client’s response to such.
Pursuant to your request all offending materials have been removed from all VTM websites. Such materials were immediately removed when this matter first received attention from the media on June 14, 2011, prior to even receiving your letter.
However, it is important that my client make its position clear on this matter. My client was in no way involved in the design of the offending marketing materials or in the actual event at Club Play in Miami, Florida. My client merely licensed its mark “EXXXOTICA” to the club and its promoters for the event in question. While it was indeed billed as an “Official EXXXOTICA After Party” my client had no part in choosing or providing any of the various photos for the marketing materials including those of the various players in their NFL uniforms. Who provided those photographs remain a mystery to my client. My client merely provided a digital image of their mark, “EXXXOTICA,” to the promoters and nothing else.
Further, my client did not receive any direct monetary compensation for use of their mark from any of the promoters of the event, Club Play or any of the companies or individuals that profited from the event. Needless to say, my client was as shocked and appalled as the NFL was when they learned that the requisite clearances were not obtained from NFL Properties LLC or any of your member clubs for use of any of the NFL trademarks. I can assure you that no further use of the subject NFL trademarks will appear on my client’s websites. However, unfortunately, my client has experienced situations wherein our own mark is misappropriated for use by night clubs and their promoters in conjunction with my client’s EXXXOTICA Expo conventions in various cities.
Obviously, we are as vigilant as possible in sending our own Cease & Desist letters to those offending promoters and night clubs when we learn of a misappropriation. In the event that we have receive evidence of any further possible infringements of the NFL Properties LLC trademarks I will forward those to your attention immediately.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. If you should have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me directly. I can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or by telephone at (818) 881-8500.
Nothing in this letter shall be construed as a waiver or relinquishment of any defenses or remedies of my client or any of their entities.
Very truly yours, Fattorosi & Associates, P.C. Michael W. Fattorosi
EXXXOTICA Chicago, presented by HotMovies.com, runs from July 8-10, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. The expo’s over 20,000 projected attendees have the opportunity to meet, take photos with and receive autographs from their favorite celebrities and over 100 of adult entertainment’s top performers. Also, hip-hop legends 2 Live Crew will be on hand to perform their groundbreaking hits on Saturday night. Making its first appearance in Chicago, EXXXOTICA will introduce the city to the nation’s largest consumer show for love and sex.