VIBE has learned that a bitter dispute between two headphone companies will be duking it out in court. Back in December of 2011, Signeo, which manufactures the Soul by Ludacris headphones line, claimed copyright infringement against SOL Republic.
Signeo alleges SOL Republic was made with the intent to disrupt Soul by Ludacris’ business. However, Kevin Lee, founder and CEO of Sol Republic, denies all claims and wrongdoing. He spoke to VIBE exclusively on the matter.
“We are super supportive of our friends Chris, Jeff and Chaka. We like Ludacris and his music. And we like that he is spreading the word about the headphone business and the importance of sound. We don’t want to affect their business. We believe there is plenty of room for us to both coexist and be successful. This lawsuit is not about us fighting Luda. It’s about our right to market our brand just like we accept that Signeo will market and sell their brand.”
Lee says SOL Republic will continue to fight the lawsuit and do their best to prove that his company is fully independent.
Read SOL Republic's full press release below:
WE ARE SOL REPUBLIC
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED
We founded SOL REPUBLIC because we love music and how it positively effects our lives.
We committed ourselves to make great sound more affordable for everyone.
Signeo, a large corporation based in China, aims to stop us through an injunction based on false accusations.
They say their headphone brand, Soul by Ludacris, is why we named our company SOL REPUBLIC.
They say our headphones infringe on their name, and we must immediately stop shipping them.
We like Ludacris. We like his music and we are truly friends. We have nothing against him.
We don't like the practices of Signeo, which licensed Ludacris's name, nor of its President Bob Bonefant.
We don’t like their attempt to intimidate our company and the really great people in it.
We don't like their army of lawyers from multiple law firms who are trying to get a judge to shut us down.
We are ready and willing to show you, a jury and a judge that…
We decided to call ourselves SOL REPUBLIC because we believe music is the Soundtrack Of Life and we wanted to symbolize our commitment to that.
We established our name, website, Facebook page and applied for a trademark well before we even knew about
Soul by Ludacris.
There's no confusion in the eyes of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. They approved our "SOL REPUBLIC" trademark as well as Signeo's "Soul" trademark.
There's no confusion with you, the public, even though Signeo and Mr. Bonefant claim that you are. We believe you are intelligent enough to know the difference.
We believe Signeo and Mr. Bonefant know that you are too, which is why they are trying to get an injunction before you and a jury have a chance to decide for yourselves.
We are willing to defend ourselves, our mission, and especially our name.
We are SOL REPUBLIC, ready to have our day in court and will not be silenced.