Jimi Hendrix's Estate Settles Licensing Legal Battle

Late guitarist's adopted sister and estate operator Janie Hendrix resolves six-year trademark fight

Jimi Hendrix's siblings have settled a six-year legal battle over the licensing of the guitarist's trademark Credit: ullstein bild

UPDATE: Contrary to reports, a rep tells Rolling Stone that the guitarist's brother Leon Hendrix was not a defendant in the legal battle that was settled between the Hendrix estate and Hendrix Licensing. Also, the principles in Hendrix Licensing have moved forward with two companies, Rockin Artwork and Purple Haze Properties, through which their rep says they are allowed to make Jimi Hendrix merchandise.

A six-year legal battle between Jimi Hendrix's siblings over the use of the guitarist's image on merchandise has been settled. Since 2009, Janie Hendrix, Jimi's adopted sister and the operator of the rocker's estate, has been locked into a copyright infringement fight with Jimi's younger brother Leon Hendrix over Hendrix Licensing, his Nevada-based company that printed shirts and other merchandise bearing his late brother's image and signature without permission.

As a result of the settlement, which was reached in July, Hendrix Licensing will no longer be allowed to sell items that infringe on the estate's trademark, the Seattle Times reports.

Janie and Leon Hendrix have been at odds since 2002, when their father Al Hendrix passed away and left Jimi Hendrix's $80 million estate under the sole control of Janie Hendrix. Leon Hendrix contested Al Hendrix's will in 2004, with the Washington State Supreme Court ultimately upholding the will in 2007. (Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 without leaving a will, which further complicated matters.)

Soon after, Leon Hendrix and his business partner Andrew Pitsicalis began selling Jimi Hendrix merchandise through their Hendrix Licensing company, resulting in a $1.7 million lawsuit from Janie Hendrix and her Experience Hendrix LLC in 2009.

The settlement between the Hendrix siblings comes after a May 2015 injunction that barred Hendrix Licensing from using registered Jimi Hendrix trademarks. A July 2015 jury trial was scheduled to determine how much Leon Hendrix's company owed to the Jimi Hendrix estate in terms of damages, but the two sides settled for an undisclosed amount prior to the July 22nd court date.

Experience Hendrix and Legacy Recordings will next release Hendrix's Freedom: Atlanta Pop Festival on August 28th. The 2-CD set documents the guitar god's historic July 4th, 1970 performance at the famed Atlanta fest. The live album will be followed September 4th by the Showtime documentary Jimi Hendrix: Electric Church.