Posted on March 24, 2017 by Maciej Heyman
(Washington State Superior Court for the County of King) A lawsuit was filed on Thursday, March 23rd 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. 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,” explains Leon Hendrix.
“We have filed this suit to show the world, once again, that Leon and his Family have a right to Jimi’s legacy too. 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,” states Andrew Pitsicalis.
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 Mr. 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 in 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, 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 & scientists in cannabinol research. Jimi’s Meds helps treat patients, with cancer, PTSD, neuropathy, anxiety, pain, lupus, fibromyalgia, and many other horrible illnesses.
The rulings and orders supporting Leon Hendrix, Andrew Pitsicalis and their companies, Rockin Artwork, LLC & Purple Haze Properties, LLC can be found here:
Counter Suit Filed in Washington 3/24/17
2006 Ruling that Experience Hendrix has no General Right of Publicity in Jimi Hendrix
2006 Affirmation By 9th Circuit that Experience Hendrix has no General Right of Publicity in Jimi Hendrix
2008 Order in Vodka Case which finds that Experience Hendrix’s trademarks were infringed by the specific trademark used by the Defendant but not because of Association with Jimi Hendrix, but because of other very similar elements of the Vodka Trademark. And thus again Experience Hendrix does not control Jimi Hendrix generally.
2009 Preliminary Injunction Order that did establish the use of the name “Hendrix” in business and domain names, an associated logo, and an authentic Jimi Hendrix signature did infringe Experience Hendrix Trademarks, but reaffirmed that general images and likenesses of Jimi Hendrix did not infringe Experience Hendrix Rights, nor did the use of the names “Hendrix” and “Jimi Hendrix” to describe those images and likenesses so Andrew Pitsicalis and his businesses (in partnership with Leon Hendrix) could continue to do so. This order is also the only behavior by Andrew Pitsicalis that has ever been found to be infringing and he has abandoned it all since 2009. Thus not a “serial” infringer.
2011 Order on summary judgment in the same case as the 2009 order above. It established that the rulings in the preliminary order are now permanent and additionally established that Andrew Pitsicalis and his companies (partnered with Leon Hendrix) could also use any Jimi Hendrix Song Titles with their products. These particular rulings were never appealed by Experience Hendrix.
2015 Georgia Federal District Court Order denying most of Experience Hendrix’s motion for preliminary injunction over a Leon Hendrix and Associates Business called Purple Haze Liquor where the product and its advertising were not found to be likely to infringe any of Experience Hendrix’s Trademarks, specifically noting that association with Jimi Hendrix the person was not a problem. It did find an issue with the use of the word Jimi in online contexts but that was limited to the liquor products only and still subject to later motions had the case not settled.