Jimi Hendrix Estate Sues Hendrix’s Brother for Copyright Infringement
Once again, members of Jimi Hendrix‘s family find themselves on opposite sides of a fight for the rights to his name. Today (March 16), the company owned by Hendrix’s estate filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against Jimi’s brother Leon, and Andrew Pitsicalis, disputing the use of trademarks and copyrights that they don’t own.
A press release from Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC states that Leon and Pitsicalis, through their Purple Haze Properties, LLC, “have attempted to hijack trademarks and copyrights for their own personal gain.” They’ve done this “through the creation, development, manufacturing, promotion, advertising and sale of cannabis, edibles, food, wine, alcohol, ‘medicines,’ electronic products and other goods.”
This is the newest round in a battle that began in 2004, when a judge shut Leon Hendrix out of the family business. Since 2008, Leon and/or Pitsicalis have lost many other court cases stemming from various attempts to create Jimi Hendrix-themed merchandise – most recently in 2016, after Leon’s Purple Haze Liqueur unlawfully used the word “Jimi” and a replication of Jimi’s signature on its bottle. A year prior, Pitsicalis was prohibited from using trademarks owned by Jimi’s estate; a ruling stated that he could not register the name “Jimi” or “Jimi Jams,” due to its connection with the legendary guitarist.
Back in 1995, control over Jimi Hendrix’s estate was officially granted to Hendrix’s father, Al. Since 2002, when Al died, the companies owned by the estate have been run by Jimi’s adopted sister, Janie.
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