Madonna is feeling the pressure from a lawsuit by the owner of Marlon Brando’s trademark rights because she flashed his image in concert. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Central California against the singer and Bhakti Touring, Inc.
Brando Enterprises allege that Madonna has been using the “Apocalypse Now” actor’s image on tour without permission, even after their representatives “expressly refused to grant such rights to the Defendants” when they were approached.
According to the suit, which claims misappropriation of right of publicity and federal trademark infringement, among other charges, Madonna’s people first approached Brand Sense Partners, which represents Brando Enterprises, about licensing Brando’s image for her Super Bowl halftime performance this year, and was granted the rights for onetime use.
After that, Madonna’s camp once again approached Brand Sense Partners about using Brando’s image for the current tour. During negotiations, Brand Sense was offered slightly more than the fee that it received for the one-time Super Bowl use, and the two parties didn’t come to terms, the suit says.
However, that hasn’t stopped Madonna from using Brando’s image on the tour anyway.
Brando Enterprises is seeking general and special damages from Madonna, as well as revenues and profits received as a result of using Brando’s image, plus treble damages, statutory damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
They also want an injunction barring Madonna from using Brando’s image in the future.