The season finale of the 12-part Showtime series "Californication" aired October 29th – and more than 20 days later, the Red Hot Chili Peppers announced they are seeking an injunction against the show for using the name of their 1999 album.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court November 19th, accuses Showtime Networks of unfair competition involving misuse of the band’s intellectual property.
The show’s title is "inherently distinctive, famous and has been the subject of substantial advertising and promotion, has been used and advertised throughout the United States and the world, is widely recognized … and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer and those in the trade" with Red Hot Chili Peppers," the suit states.
The defendants "have been fraudulent, knowing, willful, and wanton" in their creation, marketing, promotion and distribution of the show.
"Californication is the signature CD, video and song of the band’s career," RHCP singer Anthony Kiedis said in a statement, "and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right."
Twilight Time Films, Aggressive Mediocrity and Tom Kapinos (creator of the TV show) are also named as defendants. RHCP accuses the defendants of unfair competition, dilution of the value of the Californication mark and unjust enrichment.
It seeks a permanent injunction barring Showtime and other defendants from using the title. It also seeks restitution and disgorgement of all profits along with actual damages, treble damages and punitive damages.
"Californication" stars David Duchovny, whose character Hank is an author suffering from writer’s block.