Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC Sues Retailers for $50,000,000 in Trademark Infringement

The Root Staff
Joseph “Run” Simmons and Darryl “DMC” McDaniels of Run-DMC perform Feb. 6, 2016, in San Francisco.
Christopher Polk/Getty Images for DirecTV

One-third of rap supergroup Run-DMC filed a lawsuit against Amazon.com and Wal-Mart for selling merchandise with the iconic rap group’s name without permission, allegedly harming the Run-DMC brand, reports the Huffington Post.

Darryl McDaniels, aka DMC, is seeking at least $50 million of damages from the retailers and other defendants over their sale of T-shirts, hats, patches, wallets and even the glasses that McDaniels made famous.


McDaniels, the owner of Run-DMC Brand LLC, which trademark-registered the Run-DMC brand in 2007, alleges that the defendants are confusing consumers into believing that Run-DMC endorses their products, in violation of federal trademark and New York unfair-competition laws.

Other defendants include Jet.com, an online retailer that Wal-Mart bought, and a variety of companies that sell products through Amazon.com.

Founded in 1981 with Joseph “Run” Simmons and the now deceased Jason ”Jam Master Jay” Mizell, Run-DMC remains one of the most iconic groups in hip-hop. In 2009, Run-DMC became the second rap act inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five was the first).

Although their last album together was more than 15 years ago, the profile of Run-DMC has risen this year. Run-DMC received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2016 Grammy Awards, and McDaniels recently made a cameo appearance with Chance the Rapper on Saturday Night Live.


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