“Purple Rain” is one of those phrases that can only be associated with Prince and the US Patent and Trademark Office agrees. A justice forum ruled on Aug. 23 that Bang Energy could not file trademark rights for “Purple Rain,” siding with the late rock star’s estate that the term “unique and unmistakable” refers to him.
“Consumers who come across the Applicant’s trademark will suspect, when used in connection with the Applicant’s goods, that there is a connection between ‘Purple Rain’ and Prince,” a judge wrote of the decision. The statement also cited a survey that asked participants what “came to mind” when they saw the phrase “Purple Rain.” 63% responded with ‘Prince’, the 1984 music film, the album of the same name or the title track.
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Bang Energy CEO Jack Owoc said: Billboard on Wednesday (August 31) that he was “a huge fan” of Prince and chose not to proceed with the dispute. “We greatly respect Prince and his estate and will not ‘rain’ on their parade. Maybe in the future we can make a deal that is mutually beneficial,” he said.
Londell McMillan, Prince’s longtime attorney and manager, added: “Princes music, art and trademarks have a special place in our society and culture. Purple Rain is a Prince brand and known worldwide. Please respect these unique assets or suffer at your own risk.”
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