Denver coffee company Jammin Java must pay Bob Marley’s family $2.4 million for using the late reggae musician’s name and trademark to sell coffee after its license to use them expired, a federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday.
A unanimous three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Jammin Java’s argument that the award was an unwarranted “windfall” because no evidence was presented of willful trademark violations. It is not necessary to prove willful conduct when awarding actual damages, in this case the coffee company’s profits for improper use of the Marley name, the panel said.
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