The Angels have also sued Saks Fifth Avenue, Zappos, Disney, Marvel Comics and others for infringing on their copyrights, according to the New York Daily News.
It's one thing to sue Disney for taking y our name in vain in the Tim Allen movie Wild Hogs, it's another to stand in front of a judge, wearing your colors and claim you've been injured by a fritzy fashion house that made the ratty-looking shirt part of its nostalgic wacky hippy line of clothing – most of which looks as if it's based on the big-furry-vest, Sonny-and-Cher-variety-hour image of hippy fashion rather than something less nauseating.
Still, nobody exploits the name of the Hells Angels. "Even the club itself does not put 'Hells Angels' on shirts they sell to the general public," according to the Angels' lawyer, Clapp.
Shirts are sold on sites owned by local chapters, often with slogans reading "Support Local 81," which is as close as a non-member is allowed to get to wearing the club's name (though some also have Known Associate stamped on the back).
H is the eighth letter in the alphabet and A is the first. So 81 is a cipher for the initials HA – the closest non-members can get to wearing the name Hells Angels.
The shirts are listed under "Support" on most sites, though the Angels have traditionally made their money in more active lines of work than the rag trade. Import/export and distribution, primarily.
The club's line of merchandise allegedly began as a way to bring in money for a defense and support fund for members whose hard work ended up costing them a little more time away from home than they expected, in places they're not allowed to wear their colors, either.
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