|Diddley Sues Nike For Using His Image|
|NEW YORK, April 13 (Reuters) - Legendary rock and roll star Bo Diddley has sued sneaker giant Nike Inc . for using his name and image without permission. |
The 71-year-old musician, whose real name is Ellas McDaniel, sued Nike late Wednesday in Manhattan federal alleging Nike made hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenues from sales of T-shirts bearing Diddley's name, likeness and the inscription "You Don't Know Diddley" without authorization.
The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.
"This is a clear case of the big bully picking on the little guy. Apparently Nike really doesn't know Diddley," said Margo Lewis, President of Talent Source, Diddley's management company.
Vada Manager, a senior official with Beaverton, Oregon-based Nike, said that the company was in the process of negotiating with Diddley's lawyers and has authorized offering a royalty payment of between $10,000 and $15,000. He said he did not think Diddley's lawyers had received the offer yet.
John Rosenberg, one of Diddley's lawyers said that negotiations had broken off in March "We rejected their proposal. ... We've had no communication with them in about a month."
"We stand by the lawsuit and we intend to proceed," he said.
The suit alleged that in 1989 Diddley and Nike entered into a two-year agreement that resulted in a highly successful promotions campaign featuring television commercials with Bo Diddley and sports star Bo Jackson. Under the agreement, Nike also produced T-shirts with Diddley's name, likeness and the slogan "You Don't Know Diddley."
The agreement expired in 1991 and the parties could not agree on a new contract to reissue the shirts. Diddley learned in July 1999 that Nike was allegedly selling the shirts at retailers, catalogs and on the Internet without his permission.
His lawyers allegedly contacted Nike and told them to stop selling the shirts, but Nike allegedly ignored the demand.