Jelly Roll Sued, Sent Cease & Desist To Stop Using Stage Name

Jelly Roll-YouTube
Jelly Roll, News
Shawn Lealos

A Philadelphia wedding band called Jellyroll is suing country music artist Jelly Roll for rights to the name. According to the lawsuit, the name Jelly Roll violates their group’s trademark rights and they want him to stop using the name.

Here is a look at the lawsuit and what it could mean for Jelly Roll.

Jelly Roll Sued Over His Stage Name

A wedding band called Jellyroll has sued Jason DeFord for his use of the stage name Jelly Roll. According to the lawsuit, Kurt Titchenell has used the name Jellyroll for decades as a popular wedding band in Philadelphia. However, he says that DeFord’s use of the name has caused economic damage to his band.

Jelly Roll-YouTube

Titchnell says in the lawsuit that he has used the name Jellyroll since 1980. An article in 2019 honored the band’s 40th anniversary and said the band had performed at thousands of weddings and other public events. However, since Jelly Roll started becoming more popular, the Google search for “Jellyroll” reportedly brings back almost all search results for Jelly Roll – not the wedding band.

The wedding band seemed to have had no problems with DeFord using the name until his popularity began negatively impacting their success as a wedding band. They have sent DeFord cease and desist letters to stop using the name, but he has reportedly ignored them (via Billboard).

Titchenell’s attorneys sent a cease-and-desist letter in February and had conversations with Jelly Roll’s attorneys. No resolution was reached and the attorneys said that Jelly Roll’s counsel insulted them asking if they really were “competition” with DeFord.

Does The Jelly Roll Lawsuit Stand Up?

There are several things the courts need to work out in this case. The first is whether Jelly Roll – a country music artist – falls under the same trademark jurisdiction as Jellyroll – a wedding band. The big thing here is that the two names are different, as one is one word and the other is two words.

The other determination, in this case, is whether Jelly Roll caused financial hardship to Jellyroll by using a version of the name they had trademarked for 23 years before DeFord started using the name. DeFord has released several releases in two decades under the name, so stopping its use will require a court order.

As a result, Jellyroll filed the lawsuit and asked for an immediate injunction that would ban DeFord from using his stage name. They especially want to stop him from using it at a concert in Philadelphia in October.

“[DeFord] continues to use plaintiff’s registered service mark knowing that it continues to irreparably harm plaintiff but has nevertheless callously disregarded the rights of plaintiff to his own service mark,” the lawsuit states.

There is a precedent for this. Before changing its name to WWE, the professional wrestling company was called WWF. The World Wildlife Fund sued them and courts forced the company to change its name.

What are your thoughts on this lawsuit? Do you think courts will find in favor of the wedding band over the country music singer for the name Jelly Roll? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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