The merch war continues! Misfits bassist Jerry Only is taking Glenn Danzig to task — after the former Misfits singer sued Only for allegedly cutting him out of a lucrative merchandising deal with Hot Topic — claiming the Danzig lawsuit isn’t just too little too late, it has ZERO BASIS IN FACT.
Jerry (along with his company Cyclopian Music) filed the new legal documents in California district court last week, asking a judge to dismiss the Danzig lawsuit in its entirety with prejudice. In the process, Jerry suggests what many people have suspected for years: Danzig has utterly lost touch with reality.
RE-TOX broke the Danzig lawsuit story last month. Danzig sued Jerry Only for breach of contract, claiming Only registered trademarks for everything Misfits-related in 2000 behind Danzig’s back, misappropriating exclusive ownership over the marks for himself, including the band’s iconic “Fiend Skull” logo.
By doing so, Danzig — who describes himself in the lawsuit as the “creative heart of the Misfits” who first thought of using skeletal figures and motifs in the band’s performances – claims Jerry violated a 1994 contract, in which Danzig, Jerry, and others agreed to share ownership of the Misfits trademarks for merchandising purposes.
Despite the 1994 agreement, Danzig claims Only secretly entered into deals with various merchandisers, including Hot Topic, after registering the Misfits trademarks, and cut Danzig out of any potential profits in the process. Danzig says Jerry even threatened to withhold licensing rights from merchandisers if they did business with Danzig at all.
After Danzig’s lawsuit was filed, Only’s attorney issued a statement, claiming, “Danzig’s lawsuit can only be described as a sour grapes tantrum based on outrageous allegations, the majority of which are completely false, while others are ill conceived and grossly misguided.”
Now Jerry Only and his acrobatic lawyer have taken it one step further, filing legal documents that take issue with Danzig’s allegations for several reasons, namely: 1) Danzig waited too long to file his lawsuit, 2) Danzig never actually attempted to use the Misfits trademarks, and 3) Danzig pretty much made up all his arguments without providing anything even remotely resembling evidence.
Only claims Danzig offers zero facts to back up his ludicrous claims, such as the claim that he created the “Fiend Skull” logo. Moreover, Only says Danzig’s arguments are so vague and immaterial, they’re nearly impossible to respond to. Only uses the example of Danzig’s alleged deal with Hot Topic, which Danzig has accused Only of sabotaging. Only says Danzig never shows proof he even had a deal with Hot Topic in the works, or how Only played a role in it falling to pieces.
For Only’s part, he cites a 6-year statute of limitations in New York which alone would bar Danzig’s breach of contract claim (Cyclopian applied for Misfits trademarks in 2000 and 2004, meaning Danzig filed his lawsuit at least 4 years too late). Secondly, Jerry argues trademark ownership takes effect only when someone actually uses the trademarks, which Jerry plainly did and Danzig did not.
Those are three main arguments. Only makes a bunch more, but truthfully, they’re so rooted in legal technicalities, it’s hard to tell who’s actually screwing whom.
Nevertheless, both Only and Danzig have resorted to such legal pettiness that it pretty much doesn’t matter anymore. It’s hard to pick sides when they’re both assholes. Also, we can probably all agree that Hot Topic Misfits merch should be set aflame on principle alone.
No matter what, here’s hoping Danzig files a manic sternly-worded response. Because this is getting too good.