Danzig Loses Misfits Merch Lawsuit
By Marissa G. Muller
A judge has ruled out Glenn Danzig’s lawsuit against his Misfits bandmate, bassist Jerry Only.
Danzig, who was in the band up until 1983, opened in the lawsuit in May, alleging that Only didn’t give him all of the profits that were due from from merchandise sales. Danzig suspected that Only — born Gerrard Caiafa — surreptitiously registered the band’s trademarks in only his name in 2000. Among the registered items: the band’s “Fiend Skull” logo.
Danzig claimed that the band had created a contract in 1994 to protect from incidents like this, which stated ownership of trademarks would be shared. Plus, in his complaint, filed with the California Central District Court, Danzig took all creative credit for the logo: “Caiafa’s misrepresentations have proximately caused injury to Danzig by causing merchandisers not to do business with him, and have deceived consumers as to the source of merchandise bearing the Marks, because the vast majority of the Misfits fans associate the Marks with the 1977-1983 classic Misfits era when Danzig was the creative heart of the Misfits, and not with Caiafa‘s imitation Misfits” (via Classic Rock).
In the end, Only’s defense that he hadn’t breached the contract, since Danzig left the band, held up. Judge Gary Klausner has thrown out the lawsuit saying that Danzig didn’t have enough proof to prove his case: “The terms of the provision do not address any obligation regarding trademark registration or negotiations with individual retail merchandisers. Moreover, in reviewing the other provisions contained in the 1994 Agreement, the Court also finds no other terms that govern the parties’ conduct as it pertains to trademarking and licensing.”
The Misfits hit the road on a four-month tour starting Aug. 16, in Richmond, Va.