Hells Angels Club Fights to Protect Turf–and Its Brand


The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club fights hard in court to protect its brand, reports the New York Times. Just in the past seven years, the Hells Angels have brought more than a dozen cases in federal court, alleging infringement on apparel, jewelry, posters and yo-yos. The group has also challenged Internet domain names and a Hollywood movie — all for borrowing the motorcycle club's name and insignias.

The defendants have been large, well-known corporations like Toys “R” Us, Alexander McQueen, Amazon, Saks, Zappos, Walt Disney and Marvel Comics. And they have included a rapper's clothing company, Dillard's and a teenage girl who was selling embroidered patches on eBay with a design resembling the group's “Death Head” logo. Over the years, the group made a leap from image to brand, becoming a recognizable marque and promoting itself on items as varied as T-shirts, coffee mugs and women's yoga pants.

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