March 15, 2019
As reported by Court House News, a Nevada coffee company has been ordered to pay Bob Marley’s family $2.46 million for trademark infringement.
On January 9, in an unsigned memorandum, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson’s holding that Jammin Java Corporation (“Jammin Java”) had breached its licensing agreement with Hope Road Merchandising LLC (“Hope Road”), the corporation formed by Marley’s children, which allowed Jammin Java to use the Marley Coffee trademarks.
The Ninth Circuit held that $2.46 million was a reasonable measure of Hope Road’s damages and that “willful trademark infringement is not necessary where a ‘plaintiff seeks the defendant’s profits as a measure of [its] own damages.’” The Ninth Circuit went on to affirm the lower court’s finding that Jammin Java’s use of the Marley Coffee trademarks precluded Hope Road’s use of the same marks during the infringing period.
Jammin Java also failed to submit evidence of costs or deductions associated with the Marley Coffee trademark, as it was required to do if it sought an offset against the amount of profits awarded.
Authors: Jaclyn Tilak and Sam Galway