Joan Jett's Blackheart Records sued Hot Topic last year over the Blackheart Lingerie line that Blackheart Records feels infringed their trademark. On Monday the suit was settled following a joint motion by Blackheart Records and Hot Topic. We may not get all the details of the process but, if Hot Topic's initial claims that Blackheart Records had failed to properly protect their trademark, they likely had a strong argument and so a mutual settlement might be the best outcome in this case.
I initially mistook Joan Jett's issues with Hot Topic as another chapter in the sordid history of Urban Outfitters but I guess the game of feeding the youth with stolen property is neither new nor exclusive. And perhaps lumping them together is a bit unfair in this case though it does look like Hot Topic jacked Blackheart's brand.
A Misfits' dispute also recently put Hot Topic in the news but that situation seems much more about interpersonal disputes.
Last June Joan Jett's Blackheart Records sued Hot Topic for their alleged attempt to infringe Blackheart Records' trademark.
Apparently after attempting to get Joan Jett and associates to agree to a merch deal featuring the "Blackheart Family of Marks," Hot Topic then went ahead with their own Blackheart brand:
"Blackheart's complaint says Hot Topic's tagline, 'Lingerie for Girls Who Rock & Roll,' infringes on the Blackheart brand by invoking the image or persona of Joan Jett, who they say is referred to as 'The Queen of Rock N' Roll' and whose best known recording is 'I Love Rock N' Roll.'"
On Monday the lawsuit was settled based on a joint motion by both parties. No further information has been revealed.
In a statement when the initial lawsuit was filed:
"Hot Topic said it has 11 different registered trademarks with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for the use of the Blackheart brand for 'retail stores, apparel, lingerie, accessories, cosmetics and more, with some uses going back a decade to 2003.'"
"'In contrast, Blackheart Records has for years abandoned trademark filings for the use of the Blackheart name on apparel and accessories, and when we contacted them a year ago about acquiring the Blackheart URL, they never indicated a problem with our use,' Hot Topic said."
If that was the case it would help explain the relatively quite ending to this dispute.
Hypebot Senior Contributor Clyde Smith (@fluxresearch) posts music crowdfunding news @CrowdfundingM. To suggest topics about music tech, DIY music biz or music marketing for Hypebot, contact: clyde(at)fluxresearch(dot)com.