Legal Battle Ensues Over Jimi Hendrix Usage Rights

Photo by David Redfern/Redferns

A lawsuit was filed last Thursday on behalf of Leon Hendrix, his business partner Andrew Pitsicalis and their companies, Rockin Artwork, LLC & Purple Haze Properties, LLC for defamation, trade libel, tortious interference and violations of the Consumer Protection Act.

The new lawsuit stems from a false and misleading press release Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC put out announcing their latest misguided attempt to deny Leon Hendrix, Andrew Pitsicalis and their companies’ entitlements to create Jimi Hendrix products, which they have done legitimately for over a decade.

“I can’t imagine that my brother Jimi wouldn’t have looked out for me as he did so many times when he was alive. I also believe he would want his nieces and nephews to benefit from his legacy as well, and that is all we keep trying to do,” Leon Hendrix explained. “Run our companies and benefit from our vision of Jimi, and the courts have agreed. We just want to be allowed to do our part in peace. That’s all.”

“We have filed this suit to show the world, once again, that Leon and his Family have a right to Jimi’s legacy too,” Pitsicalis continued. “We have built two great companies that produce amazing products for Jimi’s fans. We are an alternate source to obtain a license granting use of our proprietary and exclusive images and other assets not available to the estate since they belong to Rockin Artwork & Purple Haze Properties.”

In a series of rulings starting in 2006, various federal trial courts and courts of appeals in various districts have affirmed that Experience Hendrix, LLC and Authentic Hendrix, LLC have no exclusive right to Jimi Hendrix products; limited the scope of their trademarks; and reaffirmed the Leon Hendrix, his partner Andrew Pitsicalis and their companies’ rights to create and market their own Jimi Hendrix products.

Claims such as Pitsicalis being a “serial infringer” could not be further from the truth, as has been proven in several legal proceedings. In an effort to be fully transparent to the public, one instance arose in 2009 where Pitsicalis was found to have engaged in infringing activity and has since ceased.

Given Rockin Artwork, LLC and Purple Haze Properties, LLC legal victories, legitimate Jimi Hendrix merchandise has been created by these companies for over a decade in the form of posters, T-shirts, glassware and more that is available in stores like Walmart, Kmart, KHOLS, Old Navy, Urban Outfitters, Zumies and Forever 21.

They also have created Jimi Hendrix products with legendary companies like Zippo International and BIC Lighter International. Jimi’s Cannabis Collection, a cannabis lifestyle brand utilizes, psychoactive and non-psychoactive elements of the plant, working with the top doctors and scientists in cannabidiol research. Jimi’s Meds helps treat patients, with cancer, PTSD, neuropathy, anxiety, pain, lupus, fibromyalgia and many other horrible illnesses.

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