According to Re-Tox.com, original MISFITS singer Glenn Danzig has filed a lawsuit against MISFITS bassist Jerry Only — real name Gerrard Caiafa — claiming Jerry registered trademarks for everything MISFITS-related in 2000 behind Danzig‘s back, misappropriating exclusive ownership over the marks for himself, including the band’s iconic “Fiend Skull” logo. By doing so, Danzig claims Jerry violated a 1994 contract, in which Danzig, Jerry and others agreed to share ownership of the MISFITS trademarks for merchandising purposes.
After registering the trademarks, Danzig alleges Jerry then secretly entered into deals with various merchandisers and cut Danzig out of any potential profits in the process.
The complaint reads in part: “Caiafa has prevented and continues to prevent other retailers, including Hot Topic, which is the largest retailer of the MISFITS products, from entering into licenses with Danzig and/or his designee to merchandise products bearing the Fiend Skull and other Marks by falsely instructing the merchandisers that he is the exclusive owner of the Marks, and that, if they enter into a license agreement with Danzig to exploit the Marks, they must pay Caiafa a license fee and/or a significant monetary penalty. Among others, Caiafa directed such threats specifically to merchandiser Hot Topic in Los Angeles, the location of Hot Topic‘s corporate offices, causing Hot Topic to refuse to license the Fiend Skull from Danzig to this day.
“Caiafa has purposefully led merchandisers, including Hot Topic, to believe that they are legally bound not to accept licenses to exploit the Marks from Danzig or his designees, and Caiafa continues to do so.
“Caiafa‘s misrepresentations have proximately caused injury to Danzig by causing merchandisers not to do business with him, and have deceived consumers as to the source of merchandise bearing the Marks, because the vast majority of the MISFITS fans associate the Marks with the 1977-1983 classic MISFITS era when Danzig was the creative heart of the MISFITS, and not with Caiafa‘s imitation MISFITS.
“Caiafa‘s false advertising and misrepresentations to merchandisers and consumers have caused Danzig to suffer damages in excess of$75,000, plus interest at the legal rate.
“Caiafa‘s aforementioned conduct was done with the intention to deprive Danzig of property and legal rights and otherwise to cause injury, and was despicable conduct that subjected Danzig to cruel and unjust hardship in conscious disregard of his rights, so as to justify an award of exemplary and punitive damages.
“The exact amount of money due from Caiafa is unknown to Danzig and can only be ascertained through an accounting. Danzig seeks an order from this Court directing Caiafa to provide him with an accounting and payment of the amount due as a result of the accounting, plus interest.”