Justice Sends Justin Bieber A Cease-And-Desist Letter Over The Font On His New Album Cover
They claim the lowercase-T stylized as a cross infringes on their trademarked font.
Justin Bieber’s sixth album, Justice, is set to drop tonight, but Bieber is already facing a legal challenge from French electronic duo Justice. Pitchfork and Rolling Stone report that Justice recently sent Bieber a cease-and-desist letter, alleging the font on his album cover (known as the “Mark”) infringes on a trademark the group filed in France in 2008.
“Your use of the Mark is illegal,” the letter states. “You have not received permission from Justice to utilize the Mark. Moreover, Bieber’s work is in no way affiliated with, supported by, or sponsored by Justice. Such use of the mark is not only illegal, but likely to deceive and confuse customers… Through your illegal co-opting of the Mark, you are now subject to immediate legal action and damages including, but not limited to, punitive and injustice relief.”
The letter claims that the trademark also applies in the US because the duo sells merchandise and performs stateside.
Justice is well known for its use of a lowercase-T stylized as a cross, with the font appearing on albums dating back to 2005’s Waters of Nazareth:
In a statement to Spin, a rep for Justice explained that Bieber’s team reached out to them last year but never followed up.
“Bieber’s team emailed us in May of 2020, asking to be looped in with Justice’s graphic designer to discuss a logo,” they said. “We tried to set up a call between Bieber’s team and our designer, but the call was never completed and the conversation ended there. No one ever mentioned an album called Justice or a logo that says Justice. The first time we saw anything about it was the announcement.”
The group’s co-manager Tyler Goldberg told Rolling Stone that they immediately noticed the similarities upon release. “The morning Bieber announced his album, it was pretty tough to miss,” he said. “Aside from seeing it all over the internet ourselves, we heard from hundreds of people throughout the day — industry people, Justice fans — and the Justice guys received a ton of messages, not only compelled to point out the similarities between the Justice Justin Bieber album, but confused. ‘Is this a Justice collaboration?‘”
Justice’s record label Ed Banger posted the original design for the duo’s logo on Instagram with a glib reference to Bieber’s use of the design. “Ed Banger records appoints Mr Justin Drew Bieber as Art Director,” the post reads. “We would like to thank Mr So Me for all his work since 2003.”