Music Mondays – LL Cool J files trademark lawsuit against Rock the Bells Music Festival

LL Cool J photographed by Terence Patrick.

LL Cool J has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Rock the Bells music festival.

Thirty-three years ago, the rapper released ‘Rock the Bells,’ the first single from his debut album, Radio. The song hit number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, the rapper’s age at the time. LL Cool J also launched his own SiriusXM channel aptly named after the single last March.

The rapper – real name James Todd Smith – filed the lawsuit at the US District Court of the Central District of California Western Division. He claims Guerilla Division, the company behind the Rock the Bells music festival, willfully infringed on his trademarks.

“[Guerilla Division] acquired distinctiveness and significant secondary meaning, such that Plaintiff owns trademark rights in Rock the Bells.”

Smith argues he had previously filed applications to register the trademark for multiple uses. The US Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) has approved most of the applications.

Guerilla Union later owned three registrations of Rock the Bells on the principal register of the USPTO. However, they were eventually canceled.

The rapper also claims he had appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel Guerilla Union’s trademarks. Multiple registrations were canceled. Yet, founder Chang Weisberg continues to trademark the name.

– Excerpt from an article written by Daniel Sanchez for Digital Music News. Find the full article here

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