Porn tycoon Larry Flynt has won the first round in his battle against nephews Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt - he has been given the opportunity to take his relatives to court over a trademark infringement issue.
The Hustler magazine boss sued his nephews' Flynt Media Group for using the family name to start a new porn enterprise without his permission, and now a Los Angeles judge has denied their request to dismiss the case.
Federal judge A. Howard Matz stated that, "Given Larry Flynt's fame and (the) defendants' use of the slogan 'You Know the Name' in promoting their products, a jury could reasonably find that (the) defendants' use of 'Flynt' was a knowing use of plaintiff's name, or a use of his identity."
In filing his suit earlier this year (09), Larry Flynt stated he feared Jimmy and Dustin Flynt "will produce and inferior product" that would tarnish his name.
He said, "To come into the adult entertainment business and use my name not only confuses people who buy my products... it could also hurt my name."
But the brothers insisted, "It's our turn to be successful in this business."
Ironically, the Flynt boys worked for their uncle for more than a decade before the Hustler boss fired them for being unproductive.
The federal court has already issued a preliminary injunction against the nephews, restricting their use of the Flynt name, and they will now face the publishing mogul in court on 8 December (09).
Larry Flynt's attorney, Jonathan W. Brown, says, "My client is very happy with this decision, and looks forward to having his rights vindicated at trial.
"It is unfortunate that his nephews have chosen to attempt to enrich themselves at the expense of their uncle. He is obviously saddened by what he views as his nephews' disloyalty, especially given all he has done for them in the past."