Kraftwerk’s Power Suit

Kraftwerk frontman Ralf Hutter is taking legal action against a Delaware company that raised $1.5 million through a Kickstarter campaign for a portable charger that’s also called Kraftwerk.

Photo: AP Photo / dpa, Jens Kalaene
Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany

Hutter filed a suit in U.S District Court in Delaware accusing the company, eZelleron, of trademark infringement and dilution, and unfair competition in its use of the Kraftwerk name.

The filing goes to great length to explain Hutter, and Hutter alone, holds the U.S. rights to slap the Kraftwerk mark on everything from various items of clothing, to DVDs, bags, paper products and even diving regulators and diapers.

“Consumers are likely to assume that there is a connection, association, or relationship between the famous electronic music band and a charger for portable musical playing devices,” the suit says.

However there is a catch, because it seems kraftwerk is also the German word for power station, which appears to be a fitting description for eZelleron’s device.

“Kraftwerk enables you to generate your own energy using a small, handy device – in such large amounts that you can run your iPhone, tablet, or even your GoPro camera for weeks!” eZelleron’s Kickstarter page promises. The device runs on lighter fuel. Hutter is seeking an injunction to keep eZelleron from using the name, compensatory and punitive damages, and costs.