Run-DMC takes mega-retailers Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Jet to task.
On Thursday, the hip hop group, which hails from Hollis, Queens, New York, filed a $50M lawsuit in the Big Apple, accusing the merchants and other retailers of selling products branded with the rap group’s name without permission. According to documents, founder and owner of the trailblazing hip hop group, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, was listed as the plaintiff in the suit.
The lawsuit alleges that the defendants are “advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple products” in Run-DMC’s trademarked name — goods such as hats, glasses, patches, t-shirts, wallets and other items. By doing so, McDaniels claims that the vendors “confuse the public as to the source of origin and endorsement of its products.”
The lawsuit went on to claim that retailers have “improperly profited, diluted and harmed” the “extremely valuable” Run-DMC brand, which has generated more than $100M in revenue since its inception in the 1980s — to include a $1.6M deal with Adidas. Meanwhile, 20 John Does are accused of harming “RUN-DMC’s ability to utilize, market, promote and sell products with its registered trademark,” NBC News reports.
As you can imagine, the “number of infringing materials sold by Amazon, Jet and Wal-mart are too numerous to properly list,” the suit adds. In other words, considering the group’s popularity, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 2009, influence on the history of hip hop culture — among other things — it seems to us, the merchandisers are getting off easy.
As of Friday evening, Dec. 30, neither McDaniels, Joseph “Run” Simmons, or any of the retailers have commented on the lawsuit.
What are your thoughts on Run-DMC gunning for Wal-Mart, Amazon, Jet, and others? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.