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Monday, March 27, 2006

Hells Angels and Trademark Infringement 

This is actually the SECOND case of Hell's Angeles [OE 3/28 - oops] trademark infringement that I've read. The first one occurred when Dan Ackroyd and Michael O'Donoghue were on Saturday Night Live. The Hells Angels expressed their concern when their "colors" appeared in this sketch:

"Johnny Angel"

Summary: Teenaged Dyan (Dyan Cannon) is dying to make an impression on "Johnny Angel", whom her parents (John Belushi, Gilda Radner) are horrified to learn are three members of the Hells Angels (Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase). As Dyan bursts into song, the Hells Angels tear the house apart and tie her parents up with rope.

No problem with the content - just the use of the colors.

The second, more recent trademark infringement case involves another media company:

Hells Angels has sued Walt Disney Co., claiming that a planned movie about a group of motorcycle riders called "Wild Hogs" infringes on its trademark name and skull logo....

The Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation was formed in 1948 in California's San Bernardino area and describes itself as a group of motorcycle enthusiasts.

Law enforcement officials have frequently linked the group to drug trafficking, racketeering and other criminal activities, but it was also recently paid $990,000 by the Santa Clara County for a botched raid of the club's property in 1998.

More information in The Trademark Blog, including a Harley Davidson trademark that may or may not become material.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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