Experience Hendrix, LLC, is owned by the sole heir of deceased rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Experience Hendrix owns numerous
Experience Hendrix, LLC, is owned by the sole heir of deceased rock guitar legend Jimi Hendrix. Experience Hendrix owns numerous trademarks associated with the musician, including the names "Hendrix" and "Jimi Hendrix," as well as certain logos. The company uses the trademarks to market, sell, and license clothing, posters, and artwork over the Internet and in retail stores. Andrew Pitsicalis owns Hendrixlicensing.com, LLC, which licenses certain Hendrix-related items. Pitsicalis also uses two websites with the domain names "hendrixlicensing. com" and "hendrixartwork.com." Experience Hendrix sued Pitsicalis alleging trademark infringement under the Lanham Act and also alleging that such infringement was an unfair or deceptive trade practice under the Washington Consumer Protection Act (WCPA). The district court held that Pitsicalis had infringed on the trademarks and issued a permanent injunction. The court also held that the activity was an unfair or deceptive trade practice and awarded damages.
On appeal, Pitsicalis asserted that his domain names did not infringe on the "Hendrix" trademark because they fell under the defense of nominative fair use. What are the requirements for this defense, and how should the appeals court rule? Did Pitsicalis violate the WCPA?
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