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'Girls Gone Wild' Threatens Winery With Trademark Suit

Girls Gone Wine Owners Feel There's No Issue

'Girls Gone Wild' Threatens Winery With Trademark Suit
MUSKOGEE, Okla. — Mantra Films Inc., the company behind the "Girls Gone Wild" empire, has threatened legal action against the owners of Oklahoma-based winery Girls Gone Wine for alleged trademark infringement, according to the Associated Press.

The three women at the head of Girls Gone Wine filed suit in federal court in Muskogee to have the matter resolved in Oklahoma rather than Mantra's home state of California.

Said "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis, "It just backs up everything that people have tried to do to me over the last few years to take advantage of me, and we're tired of it.

Francis offered his comment via telephone from a jail in Reno, Nev., where he awaits trial on a charge of tax evasion. He also faces charges in Florida of using minors in a sexual performance and conspiracy to use minors in a sexual performance.

Mantra general counsel Michael Burke echoed Francis' remarks, saying, "Mantra Films has spent several hundred million dollars over the last 10 years advertising its name endlessly on television to build up the image that 'Girls Gone Wild' is a fun, party environment, and these women are taking a free ride on all that advertising and name recognition."

Michelle Finch, one of the three Girls Gone Wine partners, said the name was chosen because it sounded fun. They registered the trademark last February.

"We're hopeful that it will all work out," she said. "If not, we'll just deal with that, too. We're here to stay."

The women's attorney, Martin Ozinga, stated that, "The United States Patent and Trademark Office has already said there's no issue here. They can co-exist."
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