Korean Zombie sues Venum over use of his name

March 7, 2018

The Korean Zombie, also known as UFC star Chan-Sung Jung filed a lawsuit for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

According to the complaint, Jung has filed a lawsuit against DBV Distribution, Inc. which appears to be the company which owns the MMA brand Venum.  Jung alleges that he was approached by the defendants with the possibility of licensing his trademark, Korean Zombie for use on its apparel.  Jung has held the trademark since January 2013 having used it since June 2007.

He claims that in December 2013 and January 2014, defendants approached Jung about the license.  However, Jung states that he “unequivocally rejected” the proposals through his representatives.  Nevertheless, in January 2018, t-shirts and other products bearing “Venum Zombie” appeared for sale.

KZ’s reps sent a cease and desist letter on February 8, 2018 but had not received a response.  The lawsuit was filed on February 27, 2018.  The lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, Jung’s right of publicity, unauthorized commercial use of likeness and unfair competition under the Lanham Act.

Complaint by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

H/t: NorCal Record via Alexandra Roberts

Payout Perspective:

The timeline on the communications seem as though there was a huge gap between January 2014 and January 2018 which seems to need more explanation.  Jung did serve in the military for South Korea from 2014-2016.  He has returned to the UFC since then.  But, that does not explain Venum’s use of the name and likeness which seems to be the case.  Venum may argue that the use of “Zombie” does not necessarily refer to Jung and that is within the purview of Fair Use.  However, evidence of having a license rejected and then using Zombie seems like bad facts.  Of course, there is another side to the story which we should hear from Venum.

Got something to say?

You must be logged in to post a comment.