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Jimi Hendrix company sues his brother again

By | Published on Monday 20 March 2017

Jimi Hendrix

The Experience Hendrix company that manages the estate and legacy of Jimi Hendrix is back in dispute with the late guitar legend’s brother Leon, who is again accused of involving himself in business ventures that exploit Jimi Hendrix trademarks without permission.

Experience Hendrix is run by the late guitarist’s adopted sister Janie and has had a number of run ins with Leon over the years. Indeed the new lawsuit against Leon Hendrix and his associate Andrew Pitsicalis begins by noting the past disputes over unofficial Hendrix-branded products that he has been involved in.

The lawsuit filed with a New York court last week states: “Over the past ten years, defendants Andrew Pitsicalis and Leon Hendrix, and a variety of individuals and entities with which they have been associated, have attempted to hijack plaintiffs’ trademarks and copyrights for their own personal gain. Federal courts have repeatedly prohibited those unlawful activities”.

According to The Wrap, the legal filing then goes on: “Ignoring those prohibitions, defendants recently have renewed and expanded their infringements of plaintiffs’ trademarks and copyrights through the creation, development, licensing, manufacturing, promotion, advertising and sale of cannabis, edibles, food, wine, alcohol, ‘medicines’, electronic products, and other goods”.

Going for the kill, the lawsuit continues: “Undaunted by their previously failed and enjoined efforts to exploit the Hendrix marks, defendants have now aggressively escalated their conduct into a full-scale assault on the plaintiffs’ trademark and copyrights that relate to Jimi Hendrix, through nothing less than a fraudulent business model and scheme designed to trade on the Hendrix marks and copyrights in a manner designed to confuse consumers, investors and licensees”.

Presumably aware that, during past disputes, Leon Hendrix has questioned the legitimacy of his adopted sister Janie as the chief overseer of his late brother’s legacy, the lawsuit then explains that it was the siblings’ father Al who set up Experience Hendrix and its related companies in 1995.

When doing so, it says, he appointed Janie Hendrix and some other family members to the companies’ management team, while “expressly excluded” Leon from the business. And when Al Hendrix died in 2002 he left ownership of the companies to “family members other than Leon Hendrix”.