Larry Flynt Sues Brother Again; Flynt Sexy Gifts Is Target
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Another legal battle pitting Larry Flynt against brother Jimmy Flynt has been waged.
On Wednesday, Larry Flynt and LFP Inc. filed suit against Jimmy Flynt and his new Florida store, Flynt Sexy Gifts, over allegations of trademark infringement.
Jimmy Flynt, according to a suit filed in federal court, has opened a store in Naples, Fla., that sells some sex toys and novelty products — a move, Larry Flynt and LFP say, is trading off on the "goodwill, fame and secondary meaning associated with the famous 'Flynt' marks."
Larry Flynt and LFP continued on to say that Flynt Sexy Gifts "palms off" its store as being associated with the larger retail chain owned by Larry Flynt — Hustler Hollywood — "while Jimmy has not achieved any fame or secondary meaning for his own name."
Jimmy Flynt operates other Flynt Sexy Gifts stores in Florence, Ky., and Cincinnati that have come under scrutiny from his brother. Flynt Sexy Gifts also operates a retail website.
The new Naples store sells an array of sexy lingerie, personal massagers, lubes, oils, candles, shoes, apparel and jewelry, but no sexually explicit merchandise — including adult videos — due to local ordinances.
Larry Flynt gained rulings on his side for injunctions at the Florence and Cincinnati stores, but Jimmy Flynt has appealed them and they are currently pending.
The legal drama between the Flynt brothers has been going on for years, perhaps set off by LFP's termination of Jimmy Flynt in 2009 after his sons, Dustin and Jimmy II, decided to compete LFP in the adult video market under the name Flynt Media Corp.
In 2010, however, a federal judge in Los Angeles granted Larry Flynt's request for permanent injunction against Jimmy Flynt's sons that prohibited them from using "Flynt" without including their full name and prominent disclaimer of any connection to Larry Flynt.
Later, Larry Flynt successfully sued Jimmy Flynt and his Ohio company, Hustler Cincinnati Inc., for trademark infringement.
"Despite the two prior court decisions prohibiting Jimmy and his sons from using the 'Flynt' marks, Jimmy has willfully and deliberately infringed up on plaintiff's intellectual property rights by promoting his new store as 'Flynt Sexy Gifts' without using his full name or any disclaimer," the suit filed Wednesday said.
Larry Flynt and LFP's lawsuit alleges trademark infringement, dilution of trademark, unfair competition, common law trademark infringement, violation of Florida's anti-dilution statute and violation of Larry Flynt's right of publicity.
The suit seeks an a preliminary and permanent injunction, unspecified damages — including treble and punitive damages — and attorneys fees.
Larry Flynt, when reached for comment, told XBIZ: “The legal action speaks for itself.”
Jimmy Flynt told XBIZ that the suit is frivolous and has no merit.
"I was the first to use the Flynt name in retail," Jimmy Flynt said. "I have used Flynt for the last year and a half in retail operations. Larry has unsuccessfully tried this before in Ohio but was denied. In fact, in 2009 Larry was denied by the [U.S. Patent Office] for the use of Flynt in retail services 'because the applied-for mark is primarily merely a surname.'"
"I look forward to a judge seeing this for what it is ... continued harassment and retaliation against me for standing up for my rights."