Dead celebrities can be big business but one celebrity-branded product is off the shelves. Electric Hendrix vodka, which launched in 2005 and was marketed by businessman Craig Dieffenbach and Hendrix's half-brother, Leon Hendrix has been the subject of a long legal struggle which has now ended. A federal judge in Seattle has ordered the makers of the vodka to pay $3.2 million in damages for trademark infringement. The permanent injunction was issued by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly on February 12 and the vodka company has just 10 days to comply with the order. Electric Hendrix is barred from using any trademarks or logos controlled by Experience Hendrix and Authentic Hendrix, two companies owned by the Hendrix estate
. The judge had first ruled for the estate back in October but as the Seattle Times reports
Dieffenbach filed an appeal with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and two sides entered a settlement agreement in December.
The Hendrix estate has been a subject of controversy since the guitarist's death in 1970. Because he died without a will the estate went to his father, Al Hendrix. Control of the estate went to Janie Hendrix, the adopted daughter of Al after his death in 2002. Leon Hendrix was reportedly cut out of his father's will and sued Janie in 2004 for a piece of the estate. His claim was denied.Branding a vodka with the image of someone who died during a drunken episode has always been somewhat of a strange move which the estate branded 'a sick joke' back in 2007
. Janie Hendrix said in a press release that "this judgment recognizes our family's long-standing commitment to preserve the Jimi Hendrix legacy and artistic vision."
Some of the controversial bottles will likely find a home on eBay. So far this morning, there's just one listing for a mini bottle with a buy-it-now price of $22.95.