Darryl "D.M.C." McDaniels, a founder of Run-D.M.C. and owner of the Run-D.M.C. brand, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon, Walmart, Jet.com and some of the aforementioned retailers' business partners for at least $50 million. According to Reuters, the suit accuses the retail giants of alleged trademark infringement.
The suit alleges that the retailers' distribution and sale of merchandise that's branded with the Run-D.M.C. name without permission – including glasses, hats, T-shirts, wallets and more that use the group's name in their title or description or bear the group's logo – misleads consumers into thinking the products have been officially endorsed by the group and accuses the defendants of "trading on the goodwill" of the group's name.
In the suit, McDaniels asserts that the Run-D.M.C. brand is "extremely valuable" and cites licensing agreements that exemplify its value, such as its deal with Adidas.
"Plaintiff will suffer immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage" should the alleged trademark infringements not cease, the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan states.
A rep for Run-D.M.C. declined to comment on the lawsuit. Representatives for Amazon, Walmart and Jet.com did not immediately return requests for comment from Reuters.
As Bloomberg reports, in November Amazon filed its own lawsuits against vendors who were allegedly selling counterfeit merchandise via its marketplace.