Bob Marley’s Family Sues Half-Brother for Trademark Infringement

By Joseph Mandour on December 5, 2011

Trademark Infringement LawsuitLos Angeles – The family of legendary reggae singer, Bob Marley, has filed a lawsuit citing both copyright and trademark infringement against Marley’s half brother, Richard Booker.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court by Marley’s widow Rita and their children, alleges that Richard Booker and companies that he is associated with have been using the now-deceased Rastafarian’s image, music, and other intellectual property without the permission of Marley’s family members.

Some of Booker’s businesses and projects that have been using Marley’s intellectual property are the annual Nine Miles Music Festival and the Bob Marley Movement of Jah People Inc., which handles all promotions for the music festival. Marley’s half brother is also said to own a restaurant in Jamaica, called Mama Marley’s. Richard Booker is the son of Marley’s mother, Cedella Booker. He currently resides in Miami, where he operates most of his businesses.

The lawsuit also claims that Marley’s heirs have long been in opposition to Booker’s attempts to trademark Marley-related names. They claim that at one point, they had reached a licensing deal with Booker but that he has since failed to carry out his end of the deal.

The Marley family is seeking unspecified damages and is also asking the judge to order an injunction on Booker’s use of any Marley-related references and imagery in present and future business ventures.

Marley, who died of cancer in 1981, was best-known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for the reggae band, Bob Marley and the Wailers. He is credited for introducing both Jamaican music and the Rastafari movement to a worldwide audience. Some of Marley’s best-known hits include, “Buffalo Soldier,” “I Shot the Sherriff,” “Could You Be Loved,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Three Little Birds,” “Redemption Song,” “Stir It Up,” and “One Love.”

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