The estate of actor Marlon Brando and the Harley-Davidson Motor Company walked away from a legal tussle over a boot brand which bears the late actor’s name.
Brando Enterprises LP and Harley-Davidson (along with Wolverine Worldwide Inc., the manufacturer of the boot brand in question) agreed to settle a suit filed over the unlicensed use of the Brando name on a Harley-branded boot resembling the footwear Brando wore when he played Johnny Strabler in the classic motorcycle movie The Wild One.
As a result of that 1953 film, Brando’s black-leather-jacketed cool and black leather boots became the approved uniform for the outsider motorcyclist.
A filing in federal court in California revealed that the parties had settled their legal dispute, but it failed to disclose the terms of whatever settlement was reached.
Harley-Davidson offers a wide array of licensed products which last year generated $43.2 million in sales. The Motor Company sells the rights to use the Harley brand name and logo on products ranging from T-shirts to jewelry to toys and every other product under the sun. When the suit was originally filed in May of 2011, Brando Enterprises was seeking financial damages. The late actor’s estate wanted profits made as a result of the use of the Brando name. According to that filing, the Brando name was already licensed to a host of companies making a range of products.
A couple of interesting side notes; Brando didn’t even ride a Harley in The Wild One; he tooled around looking surly and causing mayhem on a Triumph. Some say Brando wore steel-toed WESCO Engineer Boots while filming the movie and reportedly selected the items for his character’s wardrobe…