The MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism is speaking out against Roberto Cavalli, who has reportedly stolen its trademarked logo. Not familiar with the organization? (Same). Well, according to its website, the MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism is an “international non-profit organization with centers spanning five continents, including more than 500,000 students worldwide,” including including Virginia, Texas and California. The school’s followers are taking to their social media pages to blast the 73-year old Italian designer and his recently-released his/hers fragrance, Just Cavalli. And in case that’s not enough, they have also launched a change.org petition, entitled “TAKE OFF the ‘Just Cavalli’ logo & STOP misrepresenting our FAITH”, which has garnered the support of 1,648 signatories thus far.
Turns out, the MTO Shahmaghsoudi has had a federally registered trademark for its logo design since 1987 in classes that extend to jewelry, religious publications, table cloths, and other goods. And from the sound of their petition, they have a trademark infringement claim on their minds. The school’s claim that Cavalli’s “use of the sacred emblem as a fashion logo has caused confusion” should raise a red flag for the legally-minded, as confusion is the key inquiry in a trademark infringement claim. As of now, however, the MTO Shahmaghsoudi has not filed a lawsuit against the designer or his brand.
According to the petition (an image from which is included below), the Sufi students don’t appreciate the misappropriation of their sacred logo and they also don’t like being affiliated with JustCavalli. “The use of the sacred emblem as a fashion logo has also caused confusion amongst the family and friends of sufi students. As well as having to witness the exploitation of their beloved sacred emblem, they also have to explain to their family and friends that they have no affiliation with the JustCavalli range due to the exploitation by Mr Cavalli.” More to come …