More celebrity-related trademark news this week. The company that manages the rights to Marlon Brando’s image, Brando Enterprises, filed suit in U.S. District Court in California against Madonna, for unapproved use of the actor’s image in her current tour. Not only had permission not been granted, but according to a Brando Enterprises representative, the company had “expressly refused to grant such rights to the Defendants.”
The suit claims misappropriation of right of publicity and federal trademark infringement. Madonna had licensed Brando’s image for onetime use during the performance of her song “Vogue” in the halftime show at Super Bowl XLVI. Some of you will remember that the song includes the names of several celebrities who “gave good face” (Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis, Grace Kelly, etc.)
Madonna later approached Brando’s licensing company to use the image during her current tour, but the two parties never reached an agreement. Brando Enterprises claims that Madonna went ahead and used the image anyway. The company is seeking damages and an injunction barring Madonna from using Brando’s image in the future.
Warning: If you watch this, “Vogue” just might get stuck in your head all day long:
What’s your favorite Brando movie?