If you'd like further to receive further information or leave feedback on this article please contact Gergana Miteva: gmiteva@fkks.com

This article first appeared in Entertainment Law Matters, a Frankfurt Kurnit legal blog.

Recently, a jury awarded Experience Hendrix, LLC, the successor to Jimi Hendrix's intellectual property rights, a verdict of over $1.7 million, which a federal judge subsequently trimmed down. As we reported in March, Experience Hendrix sued Hendrixlicensing.com, an online merchant of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia, for trademark infringement, violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act and violation of Hendrix's right of publicity. While the court barred the right of publicity claim on the ground that those rights expired upon the musician's death, it allowed the other claims to proceed. Hendrixlicensing.com argued that the jury verdict was not supported by the evidence. The court agreed, doing away with the damage awards for lost profits, injury to goodwill and injury to reputation. The court's opinion noted that the plaintiff had not submitted evidence of its overhead expenses related to lost profits or offered any method of estimating the amount of damage to its goodwill or reputation. Experience Hendrix walked away with $50,000 for attorney's fees, plus the leftover damages award of $60,000, and a permanent injunction against Hendrixlicensing.com's use of its trademarks.

- 50 Cent's Before I Self Destruct did not infringe book. A New Jersey federal court dismissed a book author's copyright infringement lawsuit against 50 Cent, ruling that his film Before I Self Destruct and a companion album by the same name did not infringe the plaintiff's book. The writer of The Preachers Son–But the Streets Turned Me Into a Gangster accused 50 Cent of poaching from his book. While the court found that the works shared similar characters, themes, and setting, it dismissed the copyright infringement claim because "a simple viewing of the two works reveals that they are entirely different with respect to plot, mood, and sequence of events." The similarities were limited to the generic themes of a difficult upbringing and a life of violence and street crime, as well as the use of clichéd expressions "common in gangster movies and hip hop music."

If you'd like further to receive further information or leave feedback on this article please contact Gergana Miteva: gmiteva@fkks.com


This alert provides general coverage of its subject area. We provide it with the understanding that Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz is not engaged herein in rendering legal advice, and shall not be liable for any damages resulting from any error, inaccuracy, or omission. Our attorneys practice law only in jurisdictions in which they are properly authorized to do so. We do not seek to represent clients in other jurisdictions.