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Rockwell Family Wins Lawsuit to Bar Use of Name on Collectibles

October 22, 1987

CHICAGO (AP) _ A New Jersey firm cannot use the name, likeness or signature of the late Norman Rockwell on collectibles it markets, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Ilana Rovner on Wednesday ordered Rayod House to stop selling figurines and certain other collectibles bearing Rockwell’s signature, to stop using his picture or signature in advertising or packaging, and to destroy any such products, advertising and packaging.

Thomas R. Rockwell, the famous artist’s son and administrator of The Norman Rockwell Family Trust in Chicago, filed a lawsuit Oct. 9 against Rayod House of North Arlington, N.J.

If the injunction is violated, the order calls for Rayod House to pay the trust $1.2 million.

″We are going to comply,″ said Rayod House President Ray Yadlowsky. ″We felt the art we used is in the public domain. They disagreed in the way it was being packaged.″

Yadlowsky said in a telephone interview from New Jersey that the company agreed that ″rather than call something a Norman Rockwell collectible, we would call it a collectible inspired by the art of Norman Rockwell.″

The lawsuit charged that Rayod House had ″exploited the name and signature of Norman Rockwell for trade purposes without authority″ and sold collectibles featuring work by other artists that was falsely represented as Rockwell’s.

Rockwell died at age 84 in 1978. The trust was established by his widow and their three sons to promote the artist’s name and protect his reputation, said trust spokeswoman Ginny Sexton.

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