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Seattle Times Reports on Oral Argument in the Hendrix Electric Vodka Case

Electric%20Hendrix%20Logo.jpgThe Seattle Times yesterday reported on the July 11 oral argument in the parties’ cross motions for summary judgment in Experience Hendrix, LLC, v. Electric Hendrix, LLC. The case will decide whether the defendant can market its vodka products using the deceased musician’s name, likeness, and signature. (STL’s July 2 preview of the argument here, with past coverage here, here, and here. Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s coverage of the hearing here.)

The article provides a nice summary of the longstanding dispute, which has involved issues of trademark law, estate law, and right of publicity law. In short, it’s a pretty cool case.

The article states that Janie Hendrix (the adopted daughter of Jimi Hendrix’s father) asserted that plaintiff’s trademarks are valid and that the defendant went out of its way to adopt a mark similar to the one her companies most often use.

Leon Hendrix (one of the defendant’s owners) responded that he has as much right as Janie to make money off his late brother’s fame. The article quotes him as saying: “She cheated me out of my inheritance. She blackmailed my father. I had to go find another business, another way to make money to send my kids to college.”

The article states Judge Thomas Zilly said he would try to be “prompt” in rendering his decision but did not set a specific date.

The case cite is Experience Hendrix, LLC v. Electric Hendrix, LLC, No. 07-338 (W.D. Wash.).

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