Jimi Hendrix‘s brother Leon Hendrix and Leon’s daughter Tina Hendrix are in contempt of court for trademark infringement. The ruling comes after a permanent injunction was filed for Leon’s most recent run-in with the Experience Hendrix LLC and its licensing sector, Authentic Hendrix. The LLC was founded after Hendrix’s death in 1970 by his father Al Hendrix. According to court papers, Al Hendrix “expressly excluded Leon Hendrix and his family from that management team,” and chose specific family members to help run the estate.
Leon and Tina Hendrix have since began the Hendrix Music Academy, a tuition-free music school for children. Despite their noble intentions, the academy used the protected likeness of Jimi Hendrix to fuel their cause.
A permanent injunction was filed against Leon Hendrix and associate Andrew Pitsicalis in 2019 after the pair led the distribution of a wide range of unofficial Jimi Hendrix merchandise. Leon and Tina Hendrix continued to use the likeness of Jimi Hendrix to raise funds for their non-profit academy. According to Billboard, they have now been ordered to recall and destroy all merchandise, and change the name of their school to remove any implication of affiliation with Jimi Hendrix‘s estate.
Tina Hendrix said in an interview with Billboard, “I am astonished that the courts have sided with Experience Hendrix and stripped us from our rights to use our own family surname after a lifetime of doing so. This is a rare occurrence. The plaintiff gained the Hendrix name by virtue of adoption and has used it ever since, only to exploit millions of dollars off of Jimi Hendrix’s music, while using the proceeds to eliminate Jimi’s biological family members one by one, starting with Jimi’s own son, then Jimi’s brother and now his niece. I have never made one dollar off of my uncle while running a free music school for kids.”