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.