Get Your Ski Masks Ready: The Pussy Riot Trademark Is Now Up for GrabsS

Pussy Riot, apparently not feeling quite enough legal heat these days, have found themselves in a trademark battle for the group's name against their own defense attorneys. Yekaterina Samutsevich, the one of the three jailed Pussy Riot members to be released on probation, is accusing the group's lawyer Mark Feigin of applying for the Pussy Riot trademark without the punk collective's permission or knowledge.

Pussy Riot, worth an estimated $1 million without commercial promotion, decided to register the Pussy Riot trademark last August to "discourage people from using its name for profit or to promote projects that contradict its principles." The trademark ended up being filed by Web Bio, a film company run by Mark Feigin's wife. Samutsevich claims that the group was never informed of Feigin's affiliation to the company and that the lawyer is attempting to exploit Pussy Riot's recent notoriety. Feigin defends that the women requested he register the name with whatever firm was most immediately available in August, saying "This firm was my wife's film company."

He goes on to add that the real conflict exists between Pussy Riot itself, claiming that Samutsevich and fellow imprisoned members Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina are the ones who disagreed as to whether or not to use the band name for its commercial value. "When this whole conflict arose between the girls," Feigin tells Russia's Kommersant, "I, along with [fellow attorneys] Polozov and Volkova, absolutely and permanently refused to have anything to do with this issue."

Except he's a big part of the issue. Not only is Samutsevich, no longer in prison and talking to the press, naming him and not her fellow bandmates as the driving force in Pussy Riot's commercial exploitation, but his wife's film company has, as of November 2nd, had their application for Pussy Riot's trademark rejected altogether, leaving the brand entirely up for grabs.

Who Owns the Pussy Riot Brand? [The Atlantic]