In a case concerning a co-promotion agreement and the winding down of use of third party content before that agreement terminates, a US court recently ruled against Jammin Java (a California-based coffee company founded by one of Bob Marley’s sons) for trade mark infringement.

The court awarded damages of $2.4 million to Fifty-Six Hope Road Music Ltd. and Hope Road Merchandising, LLC (companies controlled by family members of the late musician Bob Marley) because the court found that Jammin Java used third party content beyond the license term for which the company failed to pay royalties.  Any use of third party content beyond the license terms can result in significant damages as this case demonstrates.

Jammin Java accepted trade mark infringement but said the company made no profits from coffee sales after the termination of the licenses (beyond their own costs and expenses) and therefore argued that the damages should be set at $0.  The court disagreed on the basis that Jammin Java could not prove that its unauthorized sales of Bob Marley branded coffee resulted in no profits.