Logan-based Hells Angels Motorcycle corporation wins payout and apology from clothing chain

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THIS logo on a T-shirt from national retailer Trade Secret sparked legal action from Hell

THIS logo on a T-shirt from national retailer Trade Secret sparked legal action from Hells Angels Australia. Source: Supplied

HELLS Angels bikies who risk jail for wearing their “death head” insignia in Queensland pubs have won a confidential payout from a national clothes retailer that used a similar logo on T-shirts.

The Logan City-based Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (Australia) has also received a public apology from the corporate boss of Trade Secret, which has withdrawn the bikie-style shirts sold in 2012 and 2013.

The Angels managed to press their intellectual property rights despite being declared a criminal organisation by the Queensland government last year and being dumped by their longtime IP firm Rostron Carlyle in February.

It is the second legal payout over a trademark dispute paid to the Hells Angels by Trade Secret owner Gazal Corporation, which settled with the outlaw club in 2009 over “Heaven’s Angel” girls’ T-shirts sold by its Mambo brand.

It also follows a string of international law suits brought by the club, including against UK designer Alexander McQueen in 2010 for allegedly using the death head in his Autumn/Winter collection, and Toys R Us over a yoyo in 2012.

The Trade Secret T-shirts featured an image of a Hells Angels bikie riding a bike in colours and mock “colours” of a fictitious bikie gang called “Journeymen MC” featuring a skull with wings.

In a written apology, Gazal Corp director Richard Gazal said the Hells Angels “considered these images offensive” and threatened to sue for trademark infringement.

ONE of the offending images used by Trade Secrets that led to a lawsuit by the Hells Ange

ONE of the offending images used by Trade Secrets that led to a lawsuit by the Hells Angels.

Mr Gazal said while Trade Secret denied these allegations, a lawsuit was avoided as the retailer and the bikie gang had “settled the dispute on confidential terms”.

“Trade Secret would like to publicly acknowledge the Hells Angels’ intellectual property rights in its trade marks and the copyright in the images which are contained in those trade marks,” he said.

“In selling and manufacturing the two T-shirt designs, Trade Secret did not intend to infringe the Hells Angels’ intellectual property rights or diminish its reputation and expresses regret for any offence taken by the Hells Angels as a result of that conduct.

The Angels retained IP barrister Dimitrios Eliades for the negotiations.

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