The Troubled History Of The Hells Angels

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 The Troubled History Of The Hells Angels

While it’s pretty obvious that the Hells Angels are still plenty violent and dangerous, over the years, they’ve become more and more of an outlaw corporation than an outlaw gang. With membership declining and law enforcement constantly working to curtail their illegal activities, the club has turned to a pretty mainstream revenue channel to stay afloat in the modern era: trademark enforcement.

As intellectual property company Novagraaf notes, the Hells Angels shrewdly established the Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (HAMC) and assigned ownership of all its trademarks to the company, which has been pretty active in defending those lucrative trademarks. As The New York Times reports, HAMC has sued a laundry list of corporations over infringement, including Toys “R” Us, Alexander McQueen, Amazon, Saks, Zappos, Walt Disney, and Marvel Comics. This helps protect the mystique of the Hells Angels patches and insignia, of course — but it also keeps control over the sale of other trademarked material in the club’s hands.

According to Novagraaf, “As a result of its approach to trademark infringement, the club is building up a reputation for its ability to use and stay within the law.” This isn’t exactly in line with their “outlaw” image, but not even outlaws can leave money on the table, it seems.

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