The owner of Run-DMC, Darryl McDaniels has filed a lawsuit on Thursday, December 29th, accusing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Amazon Inc. of distributing various accessories and clothing pieces with the Run DMC logo trademark’s name without their permission.
According to the court documents, the plaintiff, Mr. McDaniels is seeking to get at least $50 million of damages from Amazon, Wal-Mart, and multiple other defendants collaborating with the two companies, after they presumably sold multiple items such as hats, T-shirts. Glasses, wallets, and patches illegally featuring the rap group’s name.
The plaintiff argued that Amazon and Wal-Mart were knowingly stirring up confusion, making the customers believe they were purchasing products endorsed by Run-DMC. Darryl McDaniels claims that the brand is “extremely valuable” and the subject of multiple licensing agreements. According to Run-DMC owner, the brand is looking to endorse Adidas AG sneakers.
McDaniels’ complaint invokes infringement of the Run-DMC trademark, which was registered back in 2007. According to his complaint, filed in the United States District Court in Manhattan, the act of trademark infringement will result in “immediate and irreparable damage, loss, or injury” if it is not terminated as soon as possible.
Apart from Wal-Mart and Amazon, the list of defendants also include Jet.com, owned by Amazon, and other companies that wither do business with Amazon, or sell their products through the company. Neither Jet.com, Amazon, Wal-Mart, nor McDaniels could be reached for comment.
In 1981, Darryl McDaniels, Jason Mizel, otherwise known as “Jam Master Jay, and Joseph “Run” Simmons founded Run-DMC in the New York City borough of Queens. The group rose to fame during the 1980s and was regarded as one of the best rap acts of the decade. Their most prolific works include albums such as “Raising Hell”, songs like “My Adidas”, and the Aerosmith cover “Walk This Way”.
Two years after the Run-DMC trademark was registered, in 2009, it became the second rap act to be admitted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The case is Run-DMC Brand LLC v Amazon.com Inc et al, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 16-10011.
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