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Joan Jett sues Hot Topic for trademark infringement

The rocker takes issue with the retailer’s new Blackheart lingerie line

Rocker Joan Jett is suing the retail chain that she says heartlessly stole her trademark and used it to launch a lingerie line.

Jett is well known for partnering with record producer Kenneth Laguna to create Joan Jett and the Blackhearts in the late 1970s. The band won fame with hits such as “I Love Rock & Roll” and “Bad Reputation.” Following this success, Jett and Laguna subsequently created Blackheart Records Inc., a record label that also sells accessories, clothing and jewelry.

The rocker’s lawsuit claims that Hot Topic, a mall-based retailer known for selling music-themed merchandise asked Blackheart Records to design and distribute products for the store in 2010, but then proceeded to launch its own Blackheart-branded line, billed as “Lingerie for girls who rock and roll.”

Jett contends that the lingerie line constitutes trademark infringement, since the Blackheart name has been a federally registered trademark since 1985, Bloomberg reports. Hot Topic, meanwhile, said in a statement that the suit came as a “surprise,” because the chain holds 11 registered trademarks on the use of the Blackheart name.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of intellectual property suits, see:

“Happy Birthday to You” at center of copyright suit

Velvet Underground and the Warhol Foundation settle suit

Flea market owner is liable for trademark infringement of fake Coach products

Anonymous Yelp review admitted as evidence in infringement case

Study shows having experienced attorneys matters when filing trademark applications

Alanna Byrne

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