The Hells Angels are set to take their fight with an online marketplace over trademark infringements to court again later this month.
The Australian arm of the bikie organisation and website Redbubble – which allows users to upload artwork that can be printed on items like T-shirts, coasters and face-masks – were represented in the federal court in Brisbane on Friday.
The matter is listed for a two-day hearing in the same court from 12 July.
The trial is set to hear from witnesses, including some in the US, on its first day.
The bikie organisation has been locked in legal battles with the website since 2015.
In this matter, the Hells Angels claim Gavin Hansen ordered items like a T-shirt, coasters and a face mask bearing the trademarked flying skull logo through the website.
Hansen is the trademark officer of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation “whose tasks include investigating potentially infringing uses of registered trademarks”, according to court documents.
The statement of claim refers to “trap purchases” made in an earlier proceeding that led to two trademark infringements.
In this case trap purchases made from the website in May, October and November last year were the subject of the proceedings.
With regard to the products ordered in some examples provided by Hells Angels, Redbubble claims the design was only used on products bought by Hansen, while one was on products bought only by Hansen and Kamma Lyhne, the wife of the Hells Angels’ director and secretary since 2013.
Redbubble says it removed some contested designs months before the Hells Angels began proceedings and that the bikie organisation had not complained about or provided notice of the designs so they could be removed from public view.
The website received $133.65 from Hansen and Lyhne’s purchases, according to defence documents.
Redbubble also claims it had invited the Hells Angels organisation on four occasions to help refine its “proactive moderation screening criteria which would assist with preventing the sale of infringing artworks on the Redbubble website”, but had received no response.
Redbubble claims the Hells Angels organisation is not entitled to any relief.
In a 2019 judgment the court found the Hells Angels’ copyright case had failed, but a trademark infringement claim was made out for a number of T-shirt designs advertised on the Redbubble site.
The highest selling T-shirt that included the designs sold just two units while one example featuring a design did not sell, according to the judgment.
The Hells Angels were awarded $5,000 in nominal damages.
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