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TAS Rights Management pursuing you for Taylor Swift trademark infringement?

Posted by Steve Vondran | Jan 18, 2024

Vondran Legal® - Trademark College® - Taylor Swift coming after you via Tas Rights Management?  Call us for trademark and entertainment legal issues at (877) 276-5084!

Taylor Swift trademark

Introduction

Superstar Taylor Swift has a wide variety of intellectual property rights which are held by her company TAS Rights Management.  If you receive a cease-and-desist or takedown notice, contact us to discuss.  The signing legend is also known to pursue copyright and trademark cases in federal court.  This blog will highlight some of the IP enforcement actions taken by Swift and her team.

Some IP related issues I have heard of include improper purchase or domains with Taylor Swift's name.  You can also see a ton of Taylor Swift fan art on Etsy

It is not clear if any of these items will be pursued for infringement or counterfeits, but if you are an Etsy, eBay or Craigslist seller and get a cease and desist, or demand letter or notice of a IP related lawsuit, call us to discuss.

Who is TAS Rights Management?

This is the company, apparently owned by Taylor Swift and they register trademarks for Swift.  Here are a few I noticed that are either registered, or pending registration through the USPTO.

TAS Rights Management

 

Swiftmas trademark

 

TayMoji trademark

These are just a couple of her registered marks, there are quite a few trademark applications I saw filed.  Some were also rejected.

Taylor Swift Copyright and Trademark Lawsuits

Here are a few cases in the news involving TAS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT suing for IP infringement.

COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT

1. TAS RIGHTS MANAGEMENT, LLC, Plaintiff, v . EVERMORE PARK LLC and KEN BRETSCHNEIDER, Defendants. (alleged infringement by publicly performing songs)

THE COPYRIGHTED WORKS AT ISSUE

CLAIMS: Artist is a world-renowned singer, songwriter. She has spent substantial time and energy, indeed her entire career, creating music that resonates with consumers across generations and around the world. She has used her experience, talent, and creativity over years of hard work— and the creation of nine studio albums—to solidify herself as one of the most recognizable names and brands in the music industry, with some of the most beloved and in-demand songs in the world.

Plaintiff is the owner of the exclusive rights under the Copyright Act in the Works at issue, including all associated public performance rights. Those Works include the songs titled:

“Love Story”;

“You Belong With Me”;

and

“Bad Blood.”.

The Works are registered with the Register of Copyrights. a. “Love Story” was registered on September 11, 2009 and was assigned the registration number PA0001672990.

“You Belong with Me” was registered on September 11, 2009 and was assigned the registration number PA0001673007.

“Bad Blood” was registered on September 4, 2014 and was assigned the registration number PAU003739601.

All conditions precedent to the maintenance of this action have been performed, have occurred, or have been waived or excused.

INFRINGEMENT BY DEFENDANTS

Defendants own and operate an immersive experience theme park called Evermore Park.

Plaintiff's investigation is ongoing, and, on information and belief, Defendants have committed additional acts of willful infringement of Plaintiff's copyrighted works. Plaintiff will request the Court's authorization to amend this Complaint upon confirming such facts. 

Evermore Park opened in September 2018.

Defendants employ actors who perform as various characters at Evermore Park. These performers interact with guests and publicly perform copyrighted songs on a regular basis at the Park.

At a section of Evermore Park known as “the Burrows,” two actors regularly and routinely perform copyrighted songs, including the Works at issue in this action, to large crowds of patrons at Evermore Park.

These unlawful musical performances are marketed as a central attraction of Evermore Park. For instance, Evermore Park's website advertises that visitors can “[c]reate fanciful music” with Park actors and describes one of the Park's main activities as “Musical Character Performances.”

Defendant Bretschneider controls and directs the operations at Evermore Park, including the performance of copyrighted songs by Park actors.

Indeed, the idea and basis for Evermore Park began as a Halloween event that took place at Mr. Bretschneider's home. Evermore Park has been described as the culmination of Mr. Bretschneider's “lifelong dream.”

On numerous occasions, Defendant Bretschneider attended the Musical Character Performances at Evermore Park and actively encouraged the performance of copyrighted songs, without license or authority.

Defendants have never been licensed or authorized to use the Works for any purpose.

Defendants use, have used, and have publicly performed the copyrighted Works on numerous occasions without authorization.

Plaintiff's Works are protected by registered copyrights but are not otherwise confidential, proprietary, or trade secrets.

Plaintiff never gave Defendants permission or authority to use or publicly perform the Works.

Each infringing use or public performance of the Works constitutes a separate act of infringement and a separate claim against Defendants under the Copyright Act. As a result of this repeated and ongoing infringement, and the violation by Defendants of the most basic and fundamental obligations owed to songwriters by those who profit off their work, Plaintiff has sustained, and will continue to sustain, substantial damage and irreparable harm.

TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT

Here is a case of alleged counterfeitting of Taylor Swift brand and the Defendant did not answer, leading to an injunction.

Core Terms

Trademarks, offering, rights, Counterfeit, Trademark Act, distribute, manufacturing, Infringing, default, merchandise

Opinion


MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT UNDER FED. R. CIV. P. 55(B)(2) AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION

The plaintiff, TAS Rights Management, LLC ("Plaintiff"), by and through its undersigned counsel, hereby moves that the Court enter a default judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P.

ORDER OF DEFAULT JUDGMENT AND PERMANENT INJUNCTION

This matter comes before the Court on the motion by the plaintiff, TAS Rights Management, LLC ("Plaintiff"), for default judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2) and for permanent injunction against the defendants who have been identified pursuant to the Court's Order of Seizure of Counterfeit Goods (Document 10; "Order"). After due consideration thereof and of the record of this case, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law, and GRANTS Plaintiff's motion.

1). Plaintiff filed a Verified Complaint (Document 1; "Verified Complaint") in this action charging the parties identified in the Verified Complaint as "John Doe," "Jane Doe" and "XYZ Corporation" defendants with liability for: (a) trademark infringement and use of counterfeit mark, in violation of Section 1114(1)(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq. ("Trademark Act"); (b) trademark infringement, in violation of Section 1125(a) of the Trademark Act; (c) trademark dilution, in violation of Section 1125(c) of the Trademark Act; (d) violation of Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-101 et seq. ("Tennessee Consumer Protection Act"); and (e) violation of Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act of 1984, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-25-1101 et seq. ("Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act").

2). Plaintiff has established that it is the exclusive licensee and administrator of the trademark, name and likeness rights of Taylor Swift, which include the trademarks TAYLOR SWIFT and Taylor Swift ("Taylor Swift Trademarks"), and has also established that the Taylor Swift Trademarks are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO"), are distinctive, and are widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States.

3). Plaintiff has also established that is the owner of the exclusive rights to the trademarks THE 1989 WORLD TOUR, and ("The 1989 World Tour Trademarks") and of the applications for registration of The 1989 World Tour Trademarks with the USPTO.

4). The record shows that the defendants Jevon Montez Barber, Kammara Murry, Kenneth Youkans, Darryl L. Armour, Anthony Derkas, Raymond James Kolas, Albert Williams, Darryl Lamour, Gregory Simmons, Tarik Squires, Kiren West, John Doe 1, Karim Abukar, John Doe 2, Duane Atchinson, Herman Sommerfield, Tyrone Squires, John Doe 3, Derrick Jacobs, John Doe 4, John Doe 5, John Doe 6, Kenyon Pruitt, Melvin Washington, Roberto Lopez, James Bradley Jr., Jane Doe 1, John Doe 7, John Doe 8, Juan Estrada, Kuran Hilton, Lionel Arthur Nelson, III, Silky Devon Robinson, Dominick Martin, Jarrel Johnson, Michael Johnson, Sammie Morris, John Doe 9, Kelly Martin, Reginald Mitchell, John Doe 10, Melvin Robinson, Eric Boggan, Ron Bucler and John Doe 11 were present, for the purpose of the sale, offering for sale and/or distribution of merchandise marked with counterfeits of the Taylor Swift Trademarks ("Counterfeit Goods"), on the premises or within a twenty-mile radius of the venues where Taylor Swift performed during her 2015 concert tour in the United States ("Defendants").

5). The record further shows that Defendants were personally served with the Order, together with the Verified Complaint and a properly issued Summons, that the deadline [*4]  for Defendants' filing and serving an answer to the Verified Complaint has passed, that Defendants have not filed or served an answer, a motion or any other pleading, and that the Clerk of the Court has entered default against Defendants, in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(a) (Document 107).

6). Defendants' manufacturing, distribution, offering to distribute, offering for sale and/or sale of the Counterfeit Goods amounts to use in commerce of a counterfeit of a mark registered with the USPTO, in violation of Plaintiff's rights in the Taylor Swift Trademarks, and of Section 1114(1)(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1)(a).

7). Defendants' manufacturing, distribution, offering to distribute, offering for sale and/or sale of the Counterfeit Goods is likely to cause dilution of the Taylor Swift Trademarks, in violation of Plaintiff's rights in the Taylor Swift Trademarks, and in violation of Section 1125(c) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c).

8). Defendants' manufacturing, distribution, offering to distribute, offering for sale and/or sale of any merchandise marked with The 1989 World Tour Trademarks and/or with any word, term, name, symbol or device, or any combination thereof, confusingly-similar to any of The 1989 World Tour Trademarks ("Infringing Goods") amounts [*5]  to trademark infringement, in violation of Plaintiff's rights in The 1989 World Tour Trademarks, and in violation of Section 1125(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).

9). Defendants' manufacturing, distribution, offering to distribute, offering for sale and/or sale of the Counterfeit Goods and/or of the Infringing Goods amounts to a violation of Plaintiff's rights in the Taylor Swift Trademarks and in The 1989 World Tour Trademarks, and to a violation of Sections 47-18-104(a), (b)(1), (2), (3), (5), (6), (7), (9), (22) and (27) of the Tennessee Code Annotated, Tenn. Code Ann. §§ 47-18-104(a), (b)(1)-(3), (5)-(7), (9), (22), (27).

10). Defendants' manufacturing, distribution, offering to distribute, offering for sale and/or sale of any products or merchandise bearing a photograph(s) or likeness of Taylor Swift amounts to a violation of the name and likeness rights of Taylor Swift and of Plaintiff's rights therein, and to a violation of Section 47-25-1105 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-25-1105.

11). Pursuant to Section 1116(a) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C § 1116(a), this Court has the power to enjoin violations under Sections 1114(1)(a), 1125(a) and 1125(c) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1114(1), 1125(a) and 1125(c).

12). Pursuant to Section 47-18-109(b) of the Tennessee Code Annotated, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-18-109(b), this Court has the power to enjoin violations of the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act.

13). Pursuant to Section 47-25-1106 of the Tennessee Code Annotated, Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-25-1106, this Court has the power to enjoin violations of the Tennessee Personal Rights Protection Act.

It is accordingly ORDERED that default judgment is entered against Defendants and Defendants, along with their respective employees, officers, partners, associates, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, and all others under their control, acting on their behalf, or otherwise in active concert or participation with them, are permanently enjoined and restrained from:

a). manufacturing, distributing, offering to distribute, offering for sale, or selling any merchandise marked with any reproduction, counterfeit, copy or colorable imitation of any of the Taylor Swift Trademarks;

b). otherwise reproducing, counterfeiting, copying or colorably imitating any of the Taylor Swift Trademarks, and applying such reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation to labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, receptacles or advertisements intended to be used in commerce upon or in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of goods or services;

c). taking any action or engaging in any conduct that is likely to cause dilution of the Taylor Swift Trademarks;

d). manufacturing, distributing, offering to distribute, offering for sale, or selling any merchandise bearing a photograph(s) or likeness [*7]  of Taylor Swift, and/or marked with any of The 1989 World Tour Trademarks and/or with any word, term, name, symbol or device, or any combination thereof, confusingly-similar to any of The 1989 World Tour Trademarks;

e). representing by any method and in any manner, directly or indirectly, that any Counterfeit Goods and/or any Infringing Goods, and/or any other goods, or any services or commercial activities of Defendants are affiliated, connected or associated with Plaintiff or Plaintiff's licensors; and

f). otherwise taking any action or engaging in any conduct that is likely to cause confusion, cause mistake or deceive as to Defendants' affiliation, connection, or association with Plaintiff or Plaintiff's licensors, as to the origin Defendants' goods, services or commercial activities, or as to the sponsorship or approval of Defendants' goods, services or commercial activities by Plaintiff or Plaintiff's licensors.

See TAS Rights Mgmt., LLC v. Barber (M.D.Tenn. Jan. 4, 2016, Civil Action No. 3-15 0589) 2016 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 2661.

Selling Counterfeit Fan Art can lead to a Seizure Order

Contact a California Entertainment & Trademark Law Firm

Since 2004 our IP & Entertainment Law Firm has handled a wide variety of disputes.  From copyright and trademark infringement to right of publicity and DMCA takedown issues on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, YouTube and other platforms, to domain disputes and internet law.  Call us at (877) 276-5084 or fill out the contact form and we will reach out to you.

About the Author

Steve Vondran

Thank you for viewing our blogs, videos and podcasts. As noted, all information on this website is Attorney Advertising. Decisions to hire an attorney should never be based on advertising alone. Any past results discussed herein do not guarantee or predict any future results. All blogs are written by Steve Vondran, Esq. unless otherwise indicated. Our firm handles a wide variety of intellectual property and entertainment law cases from music and video law, Youtube disputes, DMCA litigation, copyright infringement cases involving software licensing disputes (ex. BSA, SIIA, Siemens, Autodesk, Vero, CNC, VB Conversion and others), torrent internet file-sharing (Strike 3 and Malibu Media), California right of publicity, TV Signal Piracy, and many other types of IP, piracy, technology, and social media disputes. Call us at (877) 276-5084. AZ Bar Lic. #025911 CA. Bar Lic. #232337

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