Information from WYSH Radio
The owners of the iconic bluegrass song “Rocky Top” have filed another legal challenge to prevent the recently-renamed Anderson County town of Rocky Top from cashing in on the name change.
Earlier this year, Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top, a change widely seen as the first step in revitalizing the town’s economy. The House of Bryant owns the rights to the “Rocky Top” song and is suing city leaders and the developers of several proposed attractions for trademark infringement.
This spring, the company sought an injunction aimed at preventing the then-Lake City Council from changing the town’s name to Rocky Top until the lawsuit was heard, saying it could do irreparable damage to the brand that family created. That request for an injunction was rejected in May and the city officially changed its name in June.
This latest legal challenge comes after Monday’s announcement that marketers with the city had reached an agreement with a Knoxville fashion designer to manufacture “Rocky Top, Tennessee” merchandise. House of Bryant has filed another request for the courts to step in, saying Monday’s merchandise deal is “new information” that constitutes grounds for a temporary injunction.
The suit says “the developers have taken real and concrete steps toward infringing plaintiff’s Rocky Top marks.”
The merchandising agreement is with Marc Nelson-Denim and encompasses manufacture of T-shirts, coffee mugs, key chains, and other merchandise with the Rocky Top, TN 37769 logo on them. The suit asks for the court to stop the group from “selling any goods that compete with plaintiff’s goods and that bear marks confusingly similar to the Rocky Top marks.”
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