The United States Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from clothing companies claiming legal rights to sell shirts with the image of reggae icon Bob Marley.

According to The Associated Press on Monday, the Supreme Court let a lower court ruling stand that merchandisers used Marley’s likeness to sell clothing at Wal-Mart, Target and other stores without permission from the reggae legend’s children.

The article stated that Marley’s children control the rights to the reggae star’s image through a company called Fifty-Six Hope Road Music. The company sued rivals A.V.E.L.A. and others in 2008, arguing that their sales of the late reggae singer’s merchandise violated federal trademark law. A federal court ordered the companies to pay more than US$1 million in profits and damages.

The court agreed citing evidence on a Lanham Act claim made by the plaintiffs that consumers were confused about who endorsed the merchandise.

The Lanham Act protects against false advertising and trademark infringement.

Reggae singer Bob Marley died from cancer in 1981.

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tagged in Lawsuit, Marley