USA for Africa attorneys won the first round Friday in their battle to stop counterfeiters from manufacturing and selling unauthorized T-shirts, sweat shirts and other items bearing the trademarked logo of the "We Are the World" project, which is raising money to help famine-stricken Africans.
U.S. District Judge James Ideman granted a temporary restraining order, demanding that eight individual and two corporate defendants stop making bootlegged USA for Africa merchandise. A hearing on whether to grant a permanent injunction has been set for Friday, according to USA for Africa attorney Jay Cooper.
"We're not interested in punishing these people," Cooper said. "We're interested in stopping them, getting and destroying the material and getting a proper accounting."
Loss Estimated in Millions
Cooper said counterfeiters have already cost the USA for Africa Foundation several million dollars in lost revenue. Most of the money USA for Africa takes in, including proceeds of the recording "We Are the World," is earmarked for aid to starving residents of 21 African countries.