Hells Angels might be a household term, but that doesn’t mean it’s a generic part of the vocabulary. The Hells Angels want people to know that the term is a trademark and a brand, and they will sue anyone who thinks they can violate their intellectual property rights.
The Hells Angels is known as a business that protects its trademarks, and a recent lawsuit shows that they intend to keep protecting them. On Tuesday, The Hells Angels sued Amazon.com for trademark infringement. Amazon is one of a few online stores that have been selling a t-shirt from a small fashion house, Wildfox, that reads, “My boyfriend’s a Hells Angel.” The back of the t-shirt displays a pair of wings.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the latest lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. Attorneys for the Hells Angels accuse Amazon in the lawsuit of infringing on the club’s trademarks of its skull-with-wings death head logo and its name.
An attorney for the Hells Angels said that the club wants to educate the public through its lawsuit that its name and logos are its own trademarks and brands. Both are used to reflect membership in the club and the club itself does not sell merchandise or t-shirts with the club’s name or death-head-with-wings logo.
The current infringement was reported to the club’s attorneys by members who look out for violations of the club’s intellectual property rights. The goal of the lawsuit is to get violations of trademark off the market.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Hells Angels sue Amazon over T-shirt,” Susan Carpenter, Aug. 23, 2011