Some natural associations come up in the rock 'n roll world when you hear the word "Blackheart," namely Joan Jett And The Blackhearts and her label, Blackheart Records, home of Girl In A Coma, the Dollyrots and the Eyeliners.
So, when Hot Topic announced that it was launching a more adult-focused store under the name last November, some of our eyebrows raised. Was it a collaboration with Jett? Was it something else entirely? Regardless, one would assume that use of such an iconic name would come with, you know, permissions and stuff.
According to Businessweek, Joan Jett’s Blackheart Records Group Inc. are suing Hot Topic Inc. for trademark infringement.
HOT TOPIC SAYS:
“This is a surprise to us, and we are confident in our rights to use the Blackheart brand name. We have 11 different registered trademarks with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for the use of the Blackheart brand for retail stores, apparel, lingerie, accessories, cosmetics and more.” --Spokeswoman Jennifer Vides
According to Hot Topic's further statements, the label had "for years abandoned trademark filings for the use of the Blackheart name on apparel and accessories," and did not indicate a problem with their using the name when they requested use of the Blackheart URL last year.