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Celebrity Cyber Report – Run-DMC Sues Amazon.com, Walmart and Jet.com

Run-DMC (Image from Run-DMC.com)

Darryl McDaniels, one of the surviving members of the legendary 80’s hip-hop group RUN-DMC has filed suit against online retailers Amazon.com, Jet.com,Walmart and others for trademark infringement.

According to the lawsuit “The products sold by the Defendants confuse the public as to the source of the products and suggests that RUN-DMC endorses the products. The Defendants are trading on the goodwill of RUN-DMC.”

This and similar lawsuits highlights the problems that arise when online retailers allow third parties to sell products through their websites. Amazon.com recently filed a lawsuit in Washington state court to shut down the sale of counterfeit items on its site.

The scourge of counterfeit products has impacted many tech companies including Apple computer. In October Apple filed a lawsuit in Northern California claiming that nearly 90 percent of supposedly  genuine Apple products being sold on Amazon.com by a third party were fake. 

Ebay, the largest online marketplace, is also having its problems with counterfeit products. 24/7Wallstreet.com reported recently that 500,000 counterfeit products were sold to eBay customers.

Run-DMC’s lawsuit claims  the issue goes beyond third party sellers. The suit accuses Amazon.com of selling and marketing some of the fake Run-DMC items itself in addition to fulfilling orders made to its partners.

According to the complaint fake RUN-DMC products include shirts, patches, wallets, hats and glasses. “The Defendants have earned substantial revenue due to their unlawful use of Plaintiff’s trademark,” the complaint reads.

RUN-DMC was made up of Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Jason Mizell from Hollis, Queens New York. Mizell, also known as “Jam Master Jay,” was killed in 2002. His murder remains unsolved.