Los Angeles— The estate of famed actor M
arlon Brado has filed a lawsuit against H-D Motor Company for allegedly selling a line of boots called “The Brando.”
Brando Enterprises says in a lawsuit filed in California that the “Brando” boots misappropriate the late actor’s likeness. It wants an injunction to stop the motorcycle giant from continuing to sell and marketing the footwear.
We’ve heard of all sorts of claims by celebrities over their publicity rights: image, name, voice, etc. Last year, the estate of Humphrey Bogart went to war over a couch called the “Bogart” that was said to confuse the public. So it’s probably not a shocker that boots have now made the list of alleged infringements.
According to the lawsuit, the boots look similar to a pair that Brando wore in the 1953 classic, “The Wild One.”
In announcing the lawsuit, Jeffrey Abrams, the lawyer for the estate, pointed out that Harley-Davidson has been aggressive in its own right on the trademark front.
“It is interesting that Harley-Davidson — a company that is vigorously protective of its own brand — would seek to exploit an iconic property without benefit of a licensing agreement,” said Abrams. “The flagrant disregard for the law by Harley-Davidson cannot be tolerated. It is our mission to protect the Marlon Brando name and we will pursue any company or individual who infringes on these rights meant to benefit the Brando family.”
this design is less obvious than the clutch.
The lawyer for the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club says the trademark infringement suit against Alexander McQueen fashion house, Saks and Zappos is partly motivated to protect the innocent consumer against retailation from HA club members for disrespecting the clubs symbol, the winged death head.
Attorney Fritz Clapp did not say for the record that consumers wearing the attire that is being produced by McQueen would subject them to potential violence, but he did say “anyone wearing them would be considered an imposter by club members,”
Outlaw motorcycle clubs, or 1%’ers have been known to use violence to protect their symbols.
The biggest question is whether the clubs trademark winged death head and the McQueen designs are similar enough to cause “confusion” in the market place.
Before his death in February of this year, McQueen was well known for incorporating skull motifs in his fashion designs.
PPR, the luxury parent company of Alexander McQueen, is named in the suit filed in California Federal court, as are Saks Fifth Avenue and Zappos for selling the goods.
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