Battle for 'Mob Candy' Brand Has Begun

Heath Norman Wasserman holds the copyright for the brand Mobcandy (yes, one word, but it doesn't matter) in all but one of the product categories in which Renee Graziano has launched lines under the same brand name.

Wasserman and Frank DiMatteo, owner/publisher of Mob Candy magazine, are partners, Cosa Nostra News has learned from DiMatteo.

DiMatteo also said that two cease-and-desist letters were so far sent to Graziano regarding her use of the Mob Candy brand; to his knowledge, they were both ignored, he said. A meeting is scheduled for next week, the 23rd, DiMatteo said. Lawyers will be involved. The agenda: what to do next.

Wasserman also has dibs on the Mob Candy name in many product categories in addition to the categories in which Renee has launched products -- except for jewelry, which Graziano has properly copyrighted, DiMatteo said.

Wasserman, who is in the arcade machine vending business in Chicago, is planning on extending the Mob Candy brand into additional product categories as well, DiMatteo said, including adult videos.

This site has reached out to Renee Graziano for comment in the past. Ms. Graziano, if you would like us to report on your side of the story, please contact us. 

Wasserman and DiMatteo plan to work together in these efforts, DiMatteo said. However Wasserman owns the actual copyright -- serial number 85681509; the Notice of Allowance was issued on July 30, 2013 and Wasserman's attorney is Michael Chernin, of Chicago.

According to Justia Trademarks, Wasserman has big plans for the brand above and beyond products.

The brand Mobcandy (Mob Candy is listed as well, as a "pseudo mark") includes: "Administration of a discount program for enabling participants to obtain discounts on goods and services through use of a discount membership card; Advertising, marketing, and promoting the goods and services of others via promotion exhibits, video products, Internet, excluding jewelry; Arranging and conducting auctions in the field of promotional events, excluding jewelry; Computerized on-line retail store services in the field of video products, clothing, health and beauty products, all excluding jewelry; Electronic catalog services featuring retail products featuring a wide variety of consumer goods of others, clothing, video products, excluding jewelry; On-line retail store services featuring a wide variety of consumer goods of others, exclusive of jewelry."

Said DiMatteo: "Nobody else can do a magazine though."

Renee formally introduced her Mob Candy (by Renee Graziano) on the season four premier episode of the "reality" show "Mob Wives," a couple of weeks ago (the show airs on Thursday nights on VH1). But she has been talking up and promoting the brand for the past year or so. It includes a a lot of products: Mob Candy Jewelry, Mob Candy Apparel , Mob Candy Shoes, and of course accessories and t-shirts.

Mob Candy magazine was in fact launched in 2007 by others with no ties to her then or now. Prior to the publication, the brand had originally been used for a line of Mafia-inspired clothing. Before even that, there was a company called Mob Candy that sold, well, candy...

Renee, in an interview in which she announced the new endeavor, said she was launching Mob Candy-branded jewelry, shoes and makeup. In addition, Renee actually claimed to have created the brand -- after she had appeared on the very cover of Mob Candy Magazine in 2011. She also included photos from the magazine shoot on her very own website, which have since been removed.

"I love my Mob Candy," Renee said in an interview posted on Celebrity Parents Magazine's website.

"I love the name of it. It came about because I love color. Color changes your mood. And candy makes you feel better. And we can’t forget the mob part. So I put it all together. One day, I was sitting on the couch pigging out, eating M&M’s. I was thinking, “I’m fuckin’ getting fat,” and then I put the two words together. Mob Candy is a fun line; it’s shoes and jewelry and body lotions. It’s everything a mob princess would wear, without the cost."

As noted on the official blog of Mob Candy magazine: “Not only is she just using the brand name pretending she never heard of it before, she has also done interviews claiming the root of her Mob Candy name idea came into her head randomly after thinking about how she loves colors, and candy has different colors. And of course, she couldn’t forget to add the mob to it, right? That’s how she got the idea!”

It seems a rift occurred between Renee and the magazine when VH1, according to the Mob Candy blog, pressured the magazine to shoot Karen Gravano for the cover instead of Renee Graziano, offering to film the photo shoot and run it during an episode of "Mob Wives," which is what happened. In fact, Mob Candy did four covers of the magazine that month, which may be Renee's motive; this is speculation, however.

On the season premier of the show, we paid close attention; it seemed like the words "Mob Candy" were never spoken on the show, although posters hyping the name were visible in many scenes, including the episode's finale. 

Then, last week, it seemed the brand was mentioned many times, first, it seems, by Natalie Guercio, one of the new Mob Wives from Philadelphia. Renee ostensibly hired her -- thus giving a reason to bring her on the show -- to be the "face" of Mob Candy.