Spat over slogan "Virginia is for Lovers"

Slogan used by Virginia Tourism Corp. to try to lure visitors to the state

Virginia Tourism Corp.

RICHMOND, Va. -- For almost half a century, Virginia has used "Virginia is for Lovers" as a slogan to promote tourism in the state.

So when state tourism officials noticed an online retailer using "Virginia is for Gun Lovers," they weren't pleased.

The Virginia Tourism Corp. is now suing the Richmond-based retailer, Recovered Gold LLC.

The tourism group filed a lawsuit in federal court in May, alleging trademark infringement and unfair competition. The suit says Recovered Gold's use of the phrase will confuse consumers into thinking the products sold by the business are affiliated with the state.

Attempts to reach Recovered Gold owner Andrew Newell were unsuccessful Thursday. Newell's lawyer declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Lawyers for the tourism agency did not return calls seeking comment.