Singer Jimmy Buffett has settled his trademark infringement suit against an online merchandise retailer who agreed to stop selling Buffett-related items after a brief stay in jail, the performer’s lawyer said today (Nov. 28).
Buffett’s suit, the latest in a long-running legal battle that began in Nevada, had accused Robert Akard of Galveston, Texas, of selling T-shirts, CDs and other Buffett-labeled items over the Internet without the singer’s permission.
Earlier this month, U.S. District Judge Sam Kent ordered Akard to shut down his Web site, Inderonehut.com, pending the outcome of Buffett’s lawsuit, and to account for how much money was made from his online sales.
But at a hearing on the case yesterday, the judge found Akard in violation of the restraining order, cited the retailer for contempt of court and had him thrown in jail, according to Erin Powers, a spokesman for Buffett’s lawyer, Anthony Buzbee.
A few hours later, Akard reached an out-of-court settlement with the entertainer, promising not to sell Buffett-labeled items in the future, Powers said. The judge then allowed Akard to reopen his Web site selling other beach-themed merchandise.
Buffett, 59, has parlayed his laid-back Gulf Coast image into a business empire that includes a Margaritaville clothing line and nightclub chain. He was not in court for the proceedings. Neither Akard nor his representatives could be reached for comment.
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