LL Cool J wins “Rock the Bells” trademark lawsuit

A judge ruled in the veteran rapper’s favor.

  /  04.26.2019

LL Cool J is heading into his weekend with a W.

This past November, the hip hop veteran filed a trademark lawsuit against the promoters of the long-running music festival Rock the Bells due to the organizers lifting the name from his 1985 single.

According to Billboard, a California federal judge has officially ruled in his favor. In other words, the festival promotion company Guerrilla Union must no longer utilize the title without LL Cool J’s permission. The usage of “Rock the Bells” refers to the “manufacturing, transporting, promoting, importing, advertising, publicizing, distributing, offering for sale, or selling any goods or services.”

The three-page judgement, which was handed down by U.S. district judge Dale. S Fischer, declares that LL Cool J is the “exclusive owner” of the trademark and therefore he is free to utilize it how he pleases.

In addition to the court ruling that the rights to the name belong fully to LL Cool J, Guerrilla Union has also been ordered to turn over any and all items bearing the “Rock the Bells” branding by May 10. As reported, this includes the festival’s website address, their social media handles and an array of associated e-mail addresses.

As previously reported, the Rock the Bells music festival ran events from 2004 to 2013 before having to fold due to poor ticket sales and tax issues. The California-based festival went on to tour around the world, including bringing together a reunited Wu-Tang Clan four months prior to the death of Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

LL Cool J initially tried to handle the matter outside of court but after they failed to settle, the famed entertainer accused the company of trademark infringement, cyber piracy, false designation of origin affiliation or association and unfair competition for using the “Rock the Bells” name.

According to court documents, Guerrilla Union has not yet responded to the lawsuit. They also do no appear to have retained any legal counsel in the matter. The judgement notes how LL Cool J is free to move forward for contempt and/or sanctions against the company if it does not satisfy his demands.

In March 2018, LL Cool J launched his own Rock the Bells SiriusXM channel, as well as utilized the name for merchandise and other goods.



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