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The estate of famed actor Marlon Brando has filed a lawsuit against Harley-Davidson Motor Company for allegedly selling a line of boots called “The Brando.”
Brando Enterprises says in a lawsuit filed in California that the “Brando” boots misappropriate the late actor’s likeness. It wants an injunction to stop the motorcycle giant from continuing to sell and marketing the footwear.
We’ve heard of all sorts of claims by celebrities over their publicity rights: image, name, voice, etc. Last year, the estate of Humphrey Bogart went to war over a couch called the “Bogart” that was said to confuse the public. So it’s probably not a shocker that boots have now made the list of alleged infringements.
According to the lawsuit, the boots look similar to a pair that Brando wore in the 1953 classic The Wild One. If you want to judge for yourself, here’s a close-up picture of the Brando boot, sold on Amazon.com for just over $100.
In announcing the lawsuit, Jeffrey Abrams, the lawyer for the estate, pointed out that Harley-Davidson has been aggressive in its own right on the trademark front.
“It is interesting that Harley-Davidson — a company that is vigorously protective of its own brand — would seek to exploit an iconic property without benefit of a licensing agreement,” said Abrams. “The flagrant disregard for the law by Harley-Davidson cannot be tolerated. It is our mission to protect the Marlon Brando name and we will pursue any company or individual who infringes on these rights meant to benefit the Brando family.”
Harley Davidson hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
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