Dec. 30th, 2016
Apparently Walmart, Amazon, Jet and other retailers have been selling products that traded on the rap group’s name without permission. Run-DMC filed a $50 million lawsuit in New York accusing them of profiting from their name. A founder of the group and owner of the Run-DMC brand, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, was listed as the plaintiff in the lawsuit, which was filed yesterday (Thursday) in the Southern District of the NYC.
The complaint says the defendants are “advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple products” in the “RUN DMC” trademarked name. Products include glasses, hats, T-shirts, patches, wallets and other items just to name a few.
Run-DMC was founded in New York in 1981 by McDaniels, Joseph “Run” Simmons, Darryl “DMC” and Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, who was fatally shot in his Queens recording studio back in 2002. McDaniels and Simmons later announced that the group had officially disbanded.
Run-DMC was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2009, becoming only the second rap act to be awarded that honor. The group’s hits include “King of Rock, “It’s Tricky,” and “Can You Rock It Like This.” Some of their hits include “King of Rock, “It’s Tricky,” and “Can You Rock It Like This.”
The lawsuit accuses that the retailers have ‘improperly’ profited, in violation of federal trademark and New York unfair competition laws and harmed the Run-DMC brand, which allegedly has generated more than $100 million in revenue since its inception in the 1980s. It called the Run-DMC brand “extremely valuable,” and said it is the subject of several licensing agreements, including to endorse Adidas sneakers from Adidas
The lawsuit alleges defendants are confusing consumers into believing that Run-DMC endorsed their products and are trading on the goodwill associated with the name.