Michigan and Ohio wig charities settle lawsuit over names

Posted at 12:16 PM, Mar 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-03 12:16:16-05

DETROIT (AP) — A naming dispute between two wig charities in Michigan and Ohio has been resolved.

Ohio charity Wigs For Kids sued Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan for trademark infringement last year, the Detroit Free Pressreported. The lawsuit alleged that the Michigan charity intentionally tried to confuse donors with the similar name, which resulted in a loss in donations and publicity.

The Ohio group is 30 years old and has a U.S. trademark for the name and logo. The organization aids between 125 and 150 children a year.

The 14-year-old Michigan nonprofit agreed in U.S. District Court in Detroit in February to rename itself “Maggie’s Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan.” Maggie Varney is the founder and CEO of the organization, which provides about 300 Michigan children with wigs each year.

“We are pleased that this lawsuit could be resolved and that both organizations can continue on with their missions of serving children,” Varney said.

The Michigan group had initially tried to have the lawsuit dismissed, stating that it was “outrageous that a nonprofit organization would sue another nonprofit.”

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds allowed the case to proceed, citing how the similar names could confuse consumers.

“We are grateful for a resolution ensuring that children in need of hair replacement will continue to receive the support they deserve, no matter where they live,” said Jeffrey Paul, founder and executive director of the Ohio charity.

The name change will occur over several months.