hendrixvodkaWas it an off-hand remark in a phone call? A mumbled “might be a good idea” in a meeting?  A smiley face emoticon in an email?

Just how does one mistakenly presume that Jimi Hendrix’s estate gave their blessing for his name and likeness to be used on a brand of vodka?

According to the Puget Sound Business Journal:

The fight began three years ago, when Electric Hendrix LLC introduced Hendrix Electric Vodka, a 100 percent grain vodka made from corn and rye from Utah and Idaho. Electric Hendrix officials, including CEO Craig Dieffenbach, claimed to have the family’s blessing with the vodka but that apparently wasn’t the case.

The Hendrix estate sued for trademark infringement and won—to the tune of a $3.2 million settlement.

What I want to know is, how can I sorta kinda but not really give permission for someone to brand a product with one of my dead relatives? I could use a couple of million right now.