Prince’s Lawyer Issues Warning On Respecting Late Artist’s Rights “Suffer”
Prince in the Purple Rain Music video - The Codfather / Youtube
Corporations were warned by a legal advisor for Prince’s estate to be respectful of the late artist’s rights or face legal action.
When beverage firm Bang Energy tried and failed to trademark a product line called “Purple Rain,” entertainment attorney L. Londell McMillan chimed in. A tribunal at the United States Patent and Trademark Office concluded this week that the trademark was permanently linked to Prince, agreeing with McMillan’s argument that the term was “uniquely and unmistakably” associated with Prince’s legacy.
Prince’s estate filed a written announcement, saying, “‘Purple Rain’ is not a word in the English language. Prince chose the phrase and made it famous through a Grammy-winning album, a major motion picture, a song performed around the world, and the iconic image of the late artist in the costume, movie, and tour. For the great majority of consumers, the only significance the term ‘Purple Rain’ has is to identify Prince and the image he made famous.”
Furthermore, McMillan said: “Prince’s music, art, and trademarks hold a special place in our society and culture. ‘Purple Rain’ is a Prince mark and brand known worldwide. Please respect these unique assets or suffer at your own peril.”
Jack Owoc, Bang Energy’s CEO, explained that the use of the word was not to “rain” on the estate’s parade, and is prepared to negotiate a deal for both parties to benefit from in the future.