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Hendrix Plaintiffs Appeal Pyrrhic Victory in Washington Right of Publicity Lawsuit

Surprise, surprise!

Ok, not really.

Plaintiffs Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., and Authentic Hendrix, LLC, are appealing to the Ninth Circuit their Pyrrhic victory over HendrixLicensing.com, Ltd., HendrixArtwork.com, and Andrew Pitsicalis.

Sure, the Western District granted judgment in their favor. But along the way, it also peeled off all but $60,000 in damages and $50,000 in attorney’s fees of the $1.7 million judgment the jury awarded them. The court also found unconstitutional the expansive amendment to Washington’s right of publicity statute that gave them — as Jimi Hendrix’s heirs — the right to sue in Washington, even though Mr. Hendrix was domiciled in New York at the time of his death. (STL posts on the decisions here and here.)

On Oct. 17, the plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal. They state they want the Ninth Circuit to review the Western District’s orders:

  • Granting defendants’ motion for judgment as a matter of law, and in the alternative, for a new trial;
  • Denying plaintiffs’ motion to dismiss defendants’ counterclaims for declaratory relief;
  • Granting in part and denying in part the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgment; and
  • Denying plaintiffs’ motion for treble damages and denying in part plaintiffs’ motion for attorney’s fees and costs.

Of course, plaintiffs also seek review of the final judgment the court entered in the case.

Among other things, it will be hugely interesting to see what the Ninth Circuit does with the Western District’s right of publicity ruling.

The case cite is Experience Hendrix, L.L.C. v. HendrixLicensing.com, Ltd., No. 09-285 (W.D. Wash.).

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