Run-D.M.C. are no more – the group officially called it quits after the 2002 murder of their DJ, Jam Master Jay. But the Run-D.M.C. brand lives on. Last week, their legal entity, RUN-DMC BRAND, LLC, filed a trademark lawsuit against a variety of defendants, including Amazon, Walmart, and Jet.com.
The complaint alleges that the defendants have been selling, without the group’s permission or license, two types of merchandise. The first type features the RUN-DMC name and logo:
The second type includes Run-D.M.C. style apparel that includes the Run-D.M.C. name in the online product description, such as:
The complaint states:
The RUN-DMC brand has produced revenue in excess of One Hundred Million Dollars ($100,000,000.00) from the intellectual property associated with the trademark “RUN-DMC” since its inception in the 1980s. This includes the sale of music, music publishing, concerts, merchandising and endorsement deals.
Defendants Amazon, Jet and Walmart all partner with the same identified entities…that sell infringing RUN-DMC product on amazon.com, jet.com and Walmart.com and trade on the goodwill of RUN-DMC…Defendant Amazon sells and advertises many of the products directly or fulfills the orders for the infringing products…Amazon…split[s] the proceeds from the selling of various products that directly infringe on the Plaintiff’s trademark and/or trades on the goodwill of Plaintiff’s trademark.