Kenny Chesney Files Lawsuit Over Alleged Copyright Infringement
Kenny Chesney has filed suit against a merchandising company for copyright infringement.
Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper reports the country superstar filed suit in federal court this week, alleging unauthorized sales of merchandise bearing his name and a logo that he owns.
According to the complaint, Chesney owns the trademark to a logo that features a guitar leaned against a palm tree. The singer — whose breezy island songs and carefree image have played a large role in carving out a very unique and hugely successful brand in country music — contracted with a licensing company called Latitude to license t-shirts and other branded merchandise bearing his name and that logo.
Chesney’s suit alleges that although the ‘When I See This Bar’ singer was supposed to have final approval of any licensing agreements between Latitude and third-party merchandisers, a company called T&M Enterprises began selling t-shirts and other merchandise without Chesney’s consent.
The newspaper reports that Chesney contacted T&M and instructed them to stop producing the unauthorized goods, and the two parties reached a settlement in January 2013 that would allow the company to sell off the remainder of its Chesney-related stock. But according to the singer’s filing, T&M continued selling the unauthorized merchandise even after it was supposed to have stopped.
“We believed we had an equitable settlement in place,” a spokesman for Chesney tells the Tennessean. “As time has passed, we realized that, in fact, the defendant had no intention of honoring the agreement. Regrettably, we were forced into taking further legal action. The details of our complaint are provided in the lawsuit filed in Nashville.”
The lawsuit asks for a judge to make T&M Enterprises and its designer, Harneet Pasricha, stop producing the unauthorized Chesney merchandise. The filing also asks for unspecified monetary damages.