Wednesday, December 2, 2009


KINGSTON, Jamaica — Coming to a store near you: Bob Marley video games, shoes … snowboards?

Heirs of the Jamaican reggae legend are plunging into the global trademark wars, seeking to enforce their exclusive rights to an image that has grown steadily in scope and appeal since the Jamaican superstar died of brain cancer in 1981 at age 36.

The Marley name, look and sound are estimated to generate an estimated $600 million a year in sales of unlicensed wares. Legal sales are much smaller — just $4 million for his descendants in 2007, according to Forbes magazine. The Marleys refuse to give a figure.

Now the family has hired Toronto-based Hilco Consumer Capital to protect their rights to the brand. Hilco CEO Jamie Salter believes Marley products could be a $1 billion business in a few years.

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