Johnny Nunez/Getty Images
It’s tricky, all right.
Run-DMC filed a $50 million lawsuit in New York Thursday, accusing Wal-Mart, Amazon, Jet and other retailers of selling products that traded on the group’s name without permission. Per NBC News, founding member Darryl “DMC” McDaniels was listed as the plaintiff in the suit.
The musician’s complaint alleges that the defendants are “advertising, selling, manufacturing, promoting and distributing multiple products” in Run-DMC’s trademarked name. In doing so, McDaniels says, the vendors “confuse the public as to the source of origin and endorsement of its products.” The knockoffs listed include hats, glasses, patches, shirts, wallets and other items.
The lawsuit alleges the retailers have “improperly profited, diluted and harmed” the Run-DMC brand, which has generated more than $100 million in revenue since its inception in the 1980s. The lawsuit also alleges that the retailers, including 20 John Does, have knowingly “harmed RUN-DMC’s ability to utilize, market, promote and sell products with its registered trademark.”
It called the Run-DMC brand “extremely valuable,” pointing to a $1.6 million deal with Adidas. Amazon and Wal-Mart, which owns Jet, did not respond to NBC’s News’ request for comment.
Neither McDaniels nor Joseph “Run” Simmons have commented on the lawsuit.
(E! and NBC News are both members of the NBCUniversal family.)