Transcript for Borghese Battle: Who Owns Rights to Historic Family Name?
Next up in the "gma heat index," a story we saw in "the new york times," a feud over a family name pitting a cosmetics giant against a former bachelor and abc's bianna golodryga has that. Battle royale is boying over a name that's been part of american beauty for 60 years. One side, borghese inc. And on the other the borghese family including napoleon bonaparte and princess marcella borghese. He was the prince looking for his cinderella on the ninth season of abc's "the bachelor." Will you accept this rose? Yes. Reporter: But these days prince lorenzo borghese's life has fewer roses and a lot more thorns. Lorenzo and his family are being sued by the multimillion dollar corporation that bought his grandmother's cost met lick line in 1992. By selling it they also sold the right to sell any cosmetics products under the borghese name. Everything was fine till 2008 when I filed a trademark and they opposed it. Reporter: This was for your pet product called prince borghese's la dolce vita. They filed a lawsuit against him who last a pets product line and other family members and their businesses some of which featured on the home shopping network. This is all from our spa in italy. Reporter: While the borghese family no longer has any part in the borghese global company they are still in the cosmetic business and do not use the borghese name on any of their cosmetic products but lorenzo does use his family name for his business. The company claims the family's marketing strategy plays up the borghese family heritage to sell its products. Their argument is, oh, it's going to confuse consumer when we're selling cosmetics and the same name, family is selling pet products. I don't use the same fonts. I'm in different retail outlets. Unless they're selling borghese mud at petsmart or petco for dogs, I don't get it. Reporter: But legal experts say it's not just about a name. The company would argue that people are going to think that these pet products are somehow related to the beautiful borghese cosmetics line and they will say that reduces the value of our products. Reporter: In a statement to abc news the borghese company says the law concerning trademarks is clear and the precedents long-standing. Once a business obtains a trademark and invests in a business built on that trademark, u.S. Law protects that brand, that investment and that business from trademark infringement and unfair competition." The family claims the lawsuit which has cost them $4 million in legal fees has an emotional cost, as well. I think my father feels that his family's been attacked and he wants to make sure that he can retire in peace and know that his family can use their name and share their history. Reporter: In the statement the company also mentions that the borghese family members have of dollars for the rights they sold and, in fact, continue to receive royalties today. They have absolutely nothing to do with the development of the borghese brand for more than 40 years. Both the family and the company claim they are being bullied and intimidated by the other. Of course, you can see this is fascinating and very complex legal case. Yes, thank you. We'll have dan again on that
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