Mon | May 22, 2017

Marley company wins royalty court case

Published:Wednesday | April 12, 2017 | 4:00 AM
Rohan Marley, head of Marley Coffee.

Jammin Java Corp, which previously traded as Marley Coffee, announced the resignation of its CEO, Brent Toevs, along with a legal order for the company to pay more than US$371,000 in royalties to the Marley-owned entity called 56 Hope Road.

The court award, mentioned in market filings in the United States, equates to nearly $48 million in Jamaican currency.

Jammin Java, which grew sales beyond US$8 million annually, is beset with several legal challenges, the latest involving the Marley empire pulling the use of its name from the brand.

The case, heard in the US District Court of California in February 2017, granted the request of plaintiffs 56 Hope Road and HRN for summary judgment against Jammin Java in connection with the July 21, 2016 termination of the short-term licence for the Marley Coffee trademarks.

The court "requires us to pay $371,324 in unpaid royalties," stated Jammin Java in its filings.

Both 56 Hope Road and HRN are controlled by the Marley family.

NEGOTIATING

"We are currently in negotiations with 56 Hope Road regarding a settlement structure that will allow us to move forward, though no assurances can be made on whether or not settlement terms can be reached, or if reached, whether they will be favourable to us," Jammin Java disclosed.

Toevs resigned as CEO in December 2016. Jammin Java said his departure was not due any dispute or disagreement with the company.

Toevs told Gleaner Business, via Twitter, that he has rejoined National Coffee, where he is a partner.

Rohan Marley, a large shareholder in Marley Coffee, did not respond to requests for comment.

Jammin Java announced that going forward, it would categorise Marley Coffee as discontinued operations, writing off some US$664,000 in assets and US$3.6 million in liabilities as at October 2016.

"On February 22, 2017, our licence from 56 Hope Road to do business under the name Marley Coffee was terminated. As a result, the company has discontinued Marley Coffee and all related operations," the company said.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com