RUN-DMC Sues Walmart, Amazon and Other Retailers for $50 Million

Walmart, Amazon as well as other retailers were sued by RUN-DMC the iconic hip-hop and rap group for $50 million due to allegedly infringing on the group’s trademark.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Thursday in New York, says that the stores are trading on the goodwill of RUN-DMC and confusing the consumer by manufacturing, advertising, distributing and selling multiple products, which erroneously imply that the musical group endorsed their merchandise.

Some examples of that include the black-frame old school glasses that are often seen being worn by Darryl McDaniels, who is best known to music lovers and fans as DMC, one of the founders of the band and the owner of the trademark, charged the lawsuit.

He is the owner of over 200 pairs of glasses that are similar in order to better see what is taking place in the world, said an entry that is on the official website of the band.

An exhibit that was filed along with the suit, showed hats, shirts and other products like ones worn by McDaniels, Jason Mizell (Jam Master J) and Joseph Simmons (Reverend Run), when the three shot to cultural and music stardom from their start in the 1980s in Hollis, Queens a New York City neighborhood.

The members of the band, who were inducted in 2009 into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, no longer are performing together but are considered as the elder statesmen of rap. Mizell died during a 2002 shooting that remains unsolved.

According to the complaint, the number of materials that infringe on trademarks that have been marketed and sold by these companies are too numerous to list properly.

Along with Walmart and Amazon, the complaint targets other retailers such as Vision World, SW Global, Infinity Fashion and Jet.com. All are business partners with Amazon alleges the lawsuit.

None of the companies named in the lawsuit made a public comment, nor did the attorney, based in Boston, who is representing RUN-DMC.

The use of merchandise that infringes on trademarks that are pirated is known to take place in countries around the world, but it is not often that this type of lawsuit is filed in the courtroom in the U.S. when it involves clothing or other similar items.

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