Flynt Brothers' Legal Battles Rage Over Hustler Name

Oct 7, 2010 8:00 AM PST
CINCINNATI — Attorneys for Larry Flynt Publications, in their federal trademark infringement case against Jimmy Flynt, are seeking a permanent injunction to keep Hustler Cincinnati from using the Hustler name.

In a prehearing memorandum, which was filed earlier this week at U.S.District Court in Cincinnati, Larry Flynt attorneys claim that Hustler Cincinnati, a former licensee of the plaintiff, “has continued to improperly use plaintiff’s world-famous and federally-registered Hustler marks after the termination of Hustler Cincinnati's license agreement with plaintiff.”

The filing laid out the reasoning behind why an injunction is warranted saying that LFP owns the registered Hustler marks; Hustler Cincinnati licensed them marks from LFP with approval; LFP terminated the license agreement with Hustler Cincinnati but continued to use the marks, causing likelihood of confusion and irreparable harm to the plaintiff.

The memorandum also said Jimmy Flynt and Hustler Cincinnati have sought to distract the court from these facts by asserting a variety of vague defenses, including that Jimmy is a co-equal partner with his brother Larry Flynt and has rights to the Hustler marks.

“Neither Jimmy nor Hustler Cincinnati has ever previously contested plaintiffs' ownership of the Hustler marks nor the validity of any license agreements,” the filing said. “In fact, Jimmy has consistently disavowed, both through written contracts and sworn testimony, any ownership interest whatsoever in LFP or the Hustler marks. Indeed, Jimmy has never claimed any rights to LFP or the Hustler marks until LFP terminated the license agreement with Huslter Cincinnati in 2009.”

The court document provides further details about how Jimmy Flynt, in previous testimony over the years, has admitted to never having any ownership interest or stock in LFP.

The filing said the plaintiffs do not seek to put Jimmy or Hustler Cincinnati out of business.

“Plaintiffs merely seek to stop Hustler Cincinnati from infringing on the Hustler marks and engaging unfair competition. In other words, plaintiffs only seek to force Hustler Cincinnati to comply with its legal obligations. Meanwhile, the harm to plaintiffs is substantial.”

The plaintiffs are also seeking attorney fees. The preliminary injunction hearing is Oct. 12.

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