February 19, 2009

Hendrix estate awarded $3.2M in damages

A Seattle judge has ordered the makers of Electric Hendrix Vodka to pay the dead rocker's estate $3.2 million in damages and cease selling the spirit.

The Seattle Times said the decision ends a battle regarding trademarks and licensing rights owned by the late guitarist's estate that has been going on since 2005, when businessman and developer Craig Dieffenbach and Hendrix's half-brother, Leon, began selling their Hendrix hooch.

The judge overseeing the case also ordered that the alcoholic beverage, which was sold in purple bottles and featured an image of an older Jimi Hendrix sporting a large Afro, be yanked from store shelves immediately, the Times said.

Mr. Dieffenbach has been held accountable for his unlawful actions and prohibited from ever again infringing (on) our Jimi Hendrix trademarks, Janie Hendrix -- chief executive officer of Experience Hendrix and the adoptive daughter of Jimi Hendrix's late father -- said in a statement issued by her publicist. This judgment recognizes our family's long-standing commitment to preserve the Jimi Hendrix legacy and artistic vision.

Janie Hendrix has said she doesn't think it is appropriate for her brother's image to be used to sell alcohol. Jimi Hendrix was drinking and using drugs when he asphyxiated on his own vomit and died in 1970. He was 27.