Actor's estate files lawsuit over "The Brando" chair

Times Staff Writer

Marlon Brando's heirs are making a demand that apparently can be refused.

The late actor's family has been demanding for months that Palliser Furniture Ltd. stop marketing a line of plush home theater chairs dubbed "The Brando" without a licensing agreement.

The estate filed a lawsuit today in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking unspecified damages. The suit claims sales of the chair "exceed several million dollars on a worldwide basis."

"Marlon spent a lifetime protecting his brand and made it a priority that his name would continue to be protected on behalf of his children," said movie producer Mike Medavoy, co-executor of the Brando estate.

A spokeswoman for Winnipeg-based Palliser declined to comment on the dispute.

The Oscar-winning actor, who starred in "The Godfather," "On the Waterfront" and "A Streetcar Named Desire," died in 2004 at age 80. Since then, his estate, represented by licensing firm CMG Worldwide, has struck deals with Warner Bros., Electronic Arts and others for various products.

FTR: A previous version of this story said the late actor Marlon Brando's estate was represented by CGM Worldwide. The licensing firm's correct name is CMG Worldwide.

The family has repeatedly demanded that Palliser and its retailers stop using the Brando name without permission, said attorney Jeffrey Abrams of Wolf, Rifkin, Shapiro & Schulman in Los Angeles, who represents the Brando estate.

Abrams said a Palliser executive asserted in a Jan. 29 letter that the "Brando" chair was named in honor of a tourist destination on Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea.

Abrams said that Palliser has a pattern of naming chairs for film icons, including the Cagney, the Bronson and the Eastwood. "I can't wait to hear what tourist destination the Eastwood was named after," he said.

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