Monday, August 29, 2011

Hell's Angels Sues T-Shirt Maker For Copyright Infringement

The term "damages" has new meaning when it's being sought by the Hell's Angels. CBS is reporting that T-Shirt maker Wildfox Couture has been sued for copyright infringement by the Hell's Angels motorcycle club over a t-shirt made by the company that reads: "My Boyfriend s A Hells Angel."
Wildfox T-shirt that is subject of suit by Hells Angels
The club's lawyer says that even the Hell's Angels don't put their name on T-shirts, so certainly no on else can. The club wants all the T-shirts destroyed, which seems a waste. Shouldn't they at least be given to charity or something?
The Hell's Angels are no strangers to the legal system either. Apparently, they are quite litigious when it comes to protecting their intellectual property. They sued Disney for allegedly exploiting the Hell's Angels image in the move "Wild Hogs,' and they sued the Alexander McQueen fashion house for allegedly using the Hell's Angels 'winged skull' logo. Good for them.
The report says copyright infringement when I believe that the real cause of action is actually trademark infringement. If it really is a copyright case and not a trademark case, then I think the Hell's Angels were poorly advised. The maker would have a pretty decent fair use defense, although I don't really see a defense to trademark infringement. No matter, it still makes for an interesting story.