The panel affirmed in part, reversed in part and vacated in part the district court’s decision in trademark litigation concerning a dispute over the commercial use of a deceased celebrity’s image, likeness, and name.
Experience Hendrix, LLC, which owns trademarks that it uses to sell and license products related to deceased rock legend Jimi Hendrix, alleged that defendants were licensing merchandise that infringed Experience Hendrix’s trademarks. The panel reversed the district court’s determination that Washington’s Personality Rights Act is unconstitutional, and remanded defendant’s declaratory judgment claims pertaining to the Act with instructions to enter summary judgment on those claims in favor of Experience Hendrix.
The panel affirmed the district court’s decision granting Experience Hendrix partial summary judgment on its claim that defendant’s use of “Hendrix” in its domain names infringed Experience Hendrix’s mark “Hendrix.” The panel vacated the permanent injunction and remanded so that the district court could revise language in the injunction to clarify what conduct is and is not enjoined. The panel reversed in its entirety the district court’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(b)(3) decision to strike most of the jury’s award of damages under both the federal Lanham Act and Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. The panel affirmed the district court’s order granting a new trial on damages under both of these statutes and remanded for a new trial on such damages. The panel vacated the district court’s award of attorney’s fees under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act and remanded the fee request for further proceedings. Judge Rawlinson concurred in part, and dissented in part.
Judge Rawlinson concurred in much of the majority’s opinion, but dissented from the majority’s holding that a new trial is warranted on the issue of damages. Judge Rawlinson would remand for reinstatement of the damages awarded by the jury, and for an award of attorney’s fees to Experience Hendrix as the prevailing party.