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Red Hot Chili Peppers

Merch Company Sues

Over Bootleg Swag

3/23/2012 9:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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A message to all those dudes who sell unofficial band t-shirts at concerts -- YOUR ASS WILL GET SUED ... especially if those t-shirts say Red Hot Chili Peppers.

A merchandising company named Bravado International just filed a lawsuit in Tampa -- claiming a Tampa resident named Mike Smith has been illegally hocking RHCP t-shirts outside the band's concerts ... and Bravado wants him stopped before he strikes again.

Bravado insists it struck a deal with RHCP for exclusive merchandising rights using the band's name -- and Mike's stepping all over its business ... with inferior products.

According to the suit, Mike's not only violating the exclusive merchandising agreement -- he's hurting their reputation ... because his crappy t-shirts are easily confused with Bravado's.

As a result, Bravado is demanding Mike quit his operation and immediately DESTROY all offending merchandise. Bravado also wants unspecified damages.

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