Source: Rundmc.com 

Source: Rundmc.com 

That Run-DMC t-shirt in your wardrobe that you love might not be the real deal!

The pioneer rap group has filed an infringement lawsuit for more than $50million (£40.7m) accusing retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, of selling and advertising illegitimate Run-DMC merchandise, essentially piggy-backing off the Hip Hop group’s success.

Darryl “DMC” Daniels, on behalf of Run-DMC Brand, filed the lawsuit on Thursday (29 Dec.) in New York alleging the defendants are knowingly advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple counterfeit Run-DMC products. The lawsuit names more than 20 defendants, including those who sell the products through the online marketplaces, claiming that they are cashing in on the iconic trio without its permission!

As well as unlawfully branded merchandise, the lawsuit further explains that some of the allegedly infringed products even claim to be “Run-DMC styled products” such as fedora hats and square frame sunglasses, using the group’s name in their title or description but not the logo itself. 

To display the incredible worth and value of the Run-DMC trademark and brand, the lawsuit proceeded to state that it has produced revenue in excess of $100 million from associated intellectual property such as the sale of music, music publishing, concerts and merchandising since starting out in the 1980s, including a $1.6 million licencing agreement with Adidas.

Run DMC states these products “confuse the public as to the source of origin and endorsement of its products”. This creates unfair competition, harming “Run-DMC’s ability to utilise, market, promote and sell products with its registered trademark” affecting the brand’s overall revenue.

They are seeking $50 million with interest, attorney’s fees, accounting of all sales of the defendants’ products that were advertised as being related to Run-DMC or directly us its trademark and an injunction and restraining order against sales and promotion of these products.

Do you think that online marketplace giants are doing enough to prevent infringement violations from happening right under their noses?

It appears these sorts of lawsuits may become more common if artists feel that their brands aren’t getting adequate protection!