My boyfriends a Hells Angel
Via the LA Times — This week, the Hells Angels filed a lawsuit accusing Amazon and Wildfox (a small fashion house) of misappropriating the gang’s skull-with-wings design and their trademarked name on a $120 (on sale for $60) t-shirt. As you can see above, the front of the t-shirt reads, “My Boyfriends A Hells Angel.” The back features a set of wings.
In bars and courtrooms, Hells Angels pick fights that they can win. And this is probably one of them.
As noted several years ago by Marc Randazza of the Legal Satryricon, “. . . the Hells Angels are a very well-run business, complete with a keen attention to detail when it comes to registering, maintaining, and policing their intellectual property rights . . . . . As a matter of branding, . . . Hells Angels have one of the best known trademarks in existence.”
Here, the t-shirt looks like a clear case of infringement. Though the t-shirt is grammatically incorrect, the name Hells Angels is used correctly and apparently without permission. The back of the t-shirt is no better. The wings look a lot like the club’s skull-with-wings design (see below).
The t-shirt has already been removed from Amazon’s site. I would expect this case to settle quickly.
Photo Credit: T-shirt pictures via Polyvore