Fritz Clapp At It Again

October 29, 2013

All Posts, News

The Hells Angels’ gadfly lawyer Fritz Clapp has sued another couple of corporations for trademark infringement on behalf of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation.

The corporations this time are 8732 Apparel, LLC and Dillard’s, Inc. They are both incorporated in Delaware. The suit was filed in Sacramento. Dillard’s is a national retail chain. 8732 Apparel is the clothing line of a rapper named Jeezy who was formerly known and yet may be known again as Young Jeezy.

8732 Apparel is selling a denim vest, the back of which is decorated with a red on white top rocker that reads “Street Bandits, a red on white bottom rocker that reads “Eight Seven” and a patch that very closely resembles the Hells Angels Death Head. The apparel company is also selling a couple of tee-shirts and a baseball cap that are decorated with logo that looks like the Angels’ Death Head. Clapp is also suing 20 John and Jane Does who “are persons and entities of unknown form who have commissioned, created, fabricated, displayed, distributed and/or sold the infringing items.”

The Suit

The suit alleges that the infringing items “bear a design confusingly similar to the HAMC Marks;” that the defendants “have obtained substantial profits from their infringement and exploitation of the HAMC Marks;” and that Jeezy and his co-conspirators have caused “Plaintiff HAMC irreparable harm for which money damages and other remedies are inadequate.”

The suit claims “Defendants’ conduct constitutes the use of words, symbols or devices tending falsely to describe the infringing items…. Defendants’ conduct is likely to cause confusion, mistake, or deception by or in the public as to the affiliation, connection, association, origin, sponsorship or approval of the infringing items to the detriment of Plaintiff HAMC;” that “Defendants’ activities have diluted or are likely to dilute the distinctive quality of the HAMC Marks;” and that “Defendants willfully intended to trade on Plaintiff HAMC’s reputation.”

Finally, the suit wants Jeezy and his people to stop it, pay Clapp’s fees, turn over any profits 8732 Apparel and Dillards have made selling the infringing items and “pay exemplary damages for fraud, malice and gross negligence.”

Don’t Even Say HA

The Angels have been particularly enthusiastic about protecting their brand. A recent notice circulating on Facebook has warned the world at large to never “post, or possess images of DeathHeads,” “use the words AFFA, HELLS ANGELS, HAMC or HA in any form” and “never use 81 by itself in any way.”

How enforceable all this huffing and puffing about the Angels’ marks is remains a mystery.

This is at least the third trademark infringement suit the HAMC has filed in the last year and a half. When the club sued Toys “R” Us and yo-yo maker Yomega those two companies countersued. Both suits were settled out of court. The club sued MTV star Rob Dyrdek, his cousin Chris “Drama” Pfaff and their corporations over the use of a logo nearly identical to the club’s in 2012 and that suit was also settled out of court. The terms of these settlements remain secret but Yomega continued to sell the yo-yos the club found offensive online after that settlement was reached.


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59 Responses to “Fritz Clapp At It Again”

  1. Carol Rivers Beaver Says:

    Hey dude, trying to find you, please contact me. Luv ya

  2. JRS Says:

    Years ago I was the sales manager for a shop in GA. Owners started the business as Outlaw motorcycle clothing and accessories. They did pretty good, started selling a few bikes then moved to a pretty good sized building where they had gray title HD’s, used HD’s and custom choppers. Well these guys had been on a certain clubs radar for quite awhile, and Atlanta chapter “representatives” paid the owners a visit on a Saturday morning. Basic meeting went like this – “We’ve been watching you guys for a while, and we have some concerns. You’ve done pretty good and it looks like you might be around for awhile, so consider the following. 1. Your selling a lot of shirts, did you ever consider what might happen to a citizen if a patch member asks him to remove it or cover it up? These situations have gotten ugly in the past, and we don’t want it to happen around here. 2. Our name and logo are TM. We can go to court and let the lawyers work it out. 3. If the lawyers do not work it out to our satisfaction then it WI
    LL get resolved some other way. Think about it.”
    On Monday the sign was gone, all business cards turned in, Full Throttle advertising stopped until new artwork was sent in. Shirts pulled and boxed etc. etc.
    Down there, the clubs like a low profile. We had no patch holders come to the store, nobody caused any trouble at bike nights when we brought choppers, no issues at all. It was basically just, “You got a choice to make, choose wisely.”

  3. krunk Says:

    Tell us more about your medals.. all it took before was someone using the word Valour in a post to get you to talk about your Silver Star with the V device on the back…you know, the medal that was never made?

  4. VINCE 1%er Says:

    @ L.A. 1%ER…..
    I dont have to shine em dude – they are encased on My wall. I’m not touchy…..just Right Up Front with Who & What I am and Believe in . I call em as I see em and I dont look or need friends on a blog. I Have Enough In The REAL WORLD I Live & Travel In.
    I Did get a Complimentary “Helmet Polishing” at The Local End Of Season/Fall Run with CT 81 from a Few Friendly Females that know Me.
    How was Your Veterans Day…????
    Vince 1%ER

  5. Road Whore Says:

    I LIKE mayonnaise…!

    “Whether yellow black or white
    we are precious in His sight:
    Jesus loves the little bikers of the world!”

    Ride Free

  6. Sieg Says:

    Ah, those evil ray-ciss peoples are at it again.


    And just for reference, “Day of the Rope” refers to genetically-white people being hung.

    5 TO 1
    14 Words

  7. L.A.1%er Says:

    Hey Vince, I didn’t see where thatguysfs said he was confused. He was simply pointing out the differences/similarities between the two Clubs and their respective fights concerning their Patches. I for one was surprised that no one had brought it up sooner (unless I missed it). You seem very touchy… Relax, go shine your Medals

  8. Damian Lawless Says:

    the racism in here smells like mayonnaise.

  9. VINCE 1%er Says:

    @thatguysfs :
    What Do YOU Find Confusing…. or making YOU Go Hmmmmmm? Do or Does a Trademarked Logo/Club emblem or the Copyright Laws of the USA Have YOU Confused or Bewildered…? Are you a 1st year Law school Dimwit…?

    Is Your Issue or post about fighting over a Patch -OR THE RIGHT,COPYRIGHT and Existence of said and Such Patch(es) or their Bonafide Existence displayed by Authorized Individuals to display such/said Insignia…?

    Or Is Your Post a mix of confusion, irrelevant stupidity & condemnation of & towards the HAMC over the Copyrights,Trademarks,Lawful Patents & Trademark LAWS which govern their Logo & other Logo’s that They are Sanctioned & Allowed to post/display…?
    Whats your point that makes you go Hmmmmmm…?
    Are YOU a cop/PIG asshole or just a dimwitted assclown…?

    Vince 1%ER

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