Jimi Hendrix’s family files lawsuit against vodka brand

The family of rock icon Jimi Hendrix has filed a lawsuit in federal court against companies owned by Seattle businessman Craig Dieffenbach over the use of the guitarist’s name to market various products including Hendrix Electric Vodka. Hendrix’s family filed the lawsuit saying the company used trademarked material to promote the product.

The Hendrix Electric Vodka packaging could be considered a direct link to the singer given it is shipped in purple-tinted bottles (suggestive of the singer’s hit song “Purple Haze”) and has Hendrix’s face and signature printed above the vodka label.

Janie Hendrix (who is Hendrix’s adopted sister and the chief executive for the Experience Hendrix company) has stated the vodka marketing should be considered a “sick joke” given the rock legend’s death had links to alcohol.

“We are greatly concerned that there may be a perception that Experience Hendrix has, in some way, authorized this sale of vodka,” she said in a statement Tuesday. “As a matter of strict policy, we have never promoted an alcoholic beverage.”

Dieffenbach has defended his product and stated the family’s lawsuit has no actual merit based on the 2005 federal court ruling that the Experience Hendrix only held rights to Hendrix’s music not his name or image.

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