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Son of Thelonious Monk sues Californian brewery

The son of jazz musician Thelonious Monk has lodged a lawsuit against a Californian brewery claiming it exploited his father’s name to sell merchandise.

Thelonious Monk

A lawsuit was filed on Tuesday in San Francisco by Thelonious Monk, Jr., accusing North Coast Brewing Co. of trademark infringement.As reported by Reuters, Thelonious Monk Jr. had verbally granted North Coast Brewing Co permission to use his father’s name and likeness for its Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale, in exchange for donating some profits to the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.

However Monk Jr claims he revoked that permission in January 2016 after learning that the brewery had expanded its range to sell 17 other items referencing his father, including cups, hoodies, mouse pads, soap, t-shirts and tap handles.

North Coast Brewing’s Brother Thelonious Belgian Style Abbey Ale

North Coast Brewing Co. President Mark Ruedrich has said the company was “disappointed” by the lawsuit in local press reports, but that it would defend itself against the accusations.

The lawsuit, which is seeking unspecified monetary damages, claims the brewery was never given permission to use Monk’s image on other merchandise.

The brewery’s Brother Thelonious beer is a 9.4% abv dark ale, with a label that features Thelonious holding a glass of beer from behind a piano.

Thelonious Sphere Monk was one of the most influential jazz musicians of all time. He is best known for songs such as “‘Round Midnight,” and his part in defining a style of jazz known as bebop. He died aged 64 in 1982.

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