Jimmy Flynt Can't Use 'Hustler' Trademark, Appeals Court Rules

CINCINNATI — The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Larry Flynt’s brother does not have the right to brand his adult-themed store in Cincinnati with the Hustler trademark and snuffed out his wrongful termination claim.

The decision likely brings an end to the siblings’ legal battle over the origins of the Hustler empire.

In a unanimous decision, the appeals court denied Jimmy Flynt’s bid to overturn an injunction prohibiting him from using the Hustler mark. The 6th Circuit ruled Jimmy and Larry Flynt were not business partners

Larry Flynt and  his  corporate  entities brought the lawsuit against his brother and Hustler Cincinnati Inc. , alleging that Jimmy violated the  Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051  by  using the  “Hustler”  trademark in connection with his retail  store in Cincinnati. Jimmy counterclaimed, asserting that  the  brothers were partners in  the  Hustler enterprise.

The district court concluded that Jimmy failed to establish the existence of an express or implied partnership between the brothers  and that Jimmy  infringed Larry’s trademark.

It granted summary  judgment  in  Larry’s  favor  on  all  of  Jimmy’s  counterclaims. The district  court  permanently enjoined  Jimmy  from  using  the  Hustler  trademark  and  any  other  trademark owned  by  Larry’s corporate entities.

Jimmy, when reached by XBIZ this morning, said that the case was complicated but the 6th Circuit's decision was a short one.

"The fact of the matter is that they didn't want to deal with the characters involved," Jimmy told XBIZ.

Jimmy said that his attorneys will file an appeal on the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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