Liqueurs might not be the first thing you think of when you think about Jimi Hendrix. Nevertheless, a dispute over a liqueur has his siblings on opposite sides of a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Authentic Hendrix LLC (set up by Jimi’s father James “Al” Hendrix) and Experience Hendrix LLC (run by the musician’s sister Janie Hendrix) have taken Tiger Paw Distributors LLC to court. Tiger Paw makes a liqueur called Purple Haze in collaboration with Jimi’s brother Leon Hendrix. According to Tiger Paw’s website, Purple Haze is “a 34-proof concoction of vodka, Cognac and fresh and exotic berries.” Somehow, we can’t picture the hard-partying musician ordering one.
Though the plaintiffs secured a partial injunction from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, the booze maker will be allowed to continue making the liqueur and calling it Purple Haze. The court ruled that the product is not similar enough to trademarked imagery to confuse customers. Neither Authentic Hendrix nor Experience Hendrix offer a competing product.
The ruling didn’t go all Tiger Paw’s way, however. According to Bloomberg Law, the court forbade the company from using Jimi’s signature or his first name (including on the company’s now-shuttered website, http://www.jimipurplehaze.com/).
That didn’t stop Tiger Paw from issuing a press release detailing how they had been “victorious” in the case as they will be allowed to use the initials PH (one letter different from Jimi’s initials) along with an image of a spectral figure vaguely resembling the musician.
Tiger Paw’s primary website explains that Purple Haze Liqueur was launched in 2015 as the first of a line of spirits inspired by Jimi’s famous tunes. The company plans to release flavored versions of Purple Haze (coconut, cinnamon, horchata and pineapple), along with Voodoo Child Cazuela Tequila. It’s unclear as to how the ruling will affect Tiger Paw’s upcoming releases.
We’re all for free love here at Supercall, but we are also firm believers in consent. And so we’ll be holding off on our Castles Made of Blood and Sand and Wind Cries Bloody Maries, until the Hendrix family can all hold hands and get along.