Eminem's clothing line battles rival Detroit retailer over trademark

A Detroit apparel retailer is trying to block a trademark sought by Eminem.

Clement (Fame) Brown is a fashion designer and proprietor who operates the Three Thirteen shop. Brown has held a trademark for his Three Thirteen brand since 2010, according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records.

Brown is contesting a trademark request filed in June 2017 by the rapper born Marshall Mathers for an apparel line dubbed E13. (In Eminem's logo, the "E" is rendered backward, creating the visual effect of "313" — Detroit's area code.) Eminem's application is still pending.

So it's Three Thirteen versus 313 in a battle of hometown intellectual property claims.

Eminem's clothing line was launched in 2016, and a partnership with Carhartt has included E13-branded sweatshirts, hats and other merchandise sold at that company's flagship Detroit store. E13 has also collaborated with Nike on limited-edition Air Jordan sneakers.

Some proceeds from E13 sales have gone to the Verses Project, a literacy program run by Michigan State University's Community Music School in Detroit.

Brown's Three Thirteen store sells a variety of Detroit-branded merchandise, including his own designs and brands such as Detroit Hustles Harder and Detroit-vs-Everybody. A second location at the Livernois Avenue of Fashion is in the works.

"I respect Eminem and his position in hip-hop," Brown said in a statement Wednesday. "As culture creators, it's necessary for us to protect our intellectual property. ... It's imperative that we have rights when it comes to our ideas. It's imperative that we have ownership of our creations."

Maryland intellectual-property attorney Barbara Friedman is representing Eminem in his trademark application effort.

"Our expectation is that Mr. Mathers will defend against the opposition, to protect his mark," Friedman told the Free Press.