Note: This story was last updated at 6 p.m.
The Gatlinburg publisher of “Rocky Top”—a bluegrass tune, state song, and unofficial anthem for the University of Tennessee—filed a federal lawsuit on Monday that seeks to prevent Lake City from changing its name to Rocky Top as part of a plan to turn the former coal mining town into a tourist destination.
The publisher, House of Bryant Publications LLC of Gatlinburg, also owns many Rocky Top trademarks, and it believes that the proposed name change for Lake City “is an attempt to unfairly exploit the fame and goodwill of House of Bryant’s intellectual property,” according to a press release from Waddey Patterson, an intellectual property law firm based in Nashville.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Knoxville on Monday. The defendants are Lake City, Rocky Top Tennessee Marketing and Manufacturing Co., Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel, Franklin resident Brad Coriell, Lake City businessman Mark Smith, Lake City Vice Mayor Michael Lovely, and Knoxville resident Carl “Buddy” Warren. [Read more…]