Feld Entertainment, the production company which owns now-dormant Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, has filed a lawsuit against Kid Rock and Live Nation over their use of the trademark term “Greatest Show on Earth” to promote Kid Rock’s latest tour, according to Business Wire.
Last week, Feld Entertainment, Inc. filed a federal lawsuit charging trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition, injury to business reputation, and unjust enrichment in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against the singer and his promoter after several unsuccessful out-of-court attempts to have them scrap the “Greatest Show on Earth” slogan from the tour.
“This historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros. for the past century, and it is recognized as a trusted and iconic brand of family-friendly entertainment. The Greatest Show On Earth continues to live on and will do so well into the future. We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished,” said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment.
The 150-year-old circus staged their final performance in May after months of declining sales following claims by activists that the exhaustive transport and forced performance of the animals constituted abuse. Though they no longer perform, the slogan is still attached to the show through merchandise and collectibles.
“We have authorized licensees for Ringling Bros. and The Greatest Show On Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them,” said Lisa Joiner, General Counsel of Feld Entertainment. “Feld Entertainment was not contacted by Kid Rock (or anybody else on his behalf) regarding his use of Feld Entertainment’s trademark The Greatest Show On Earth.”
Among the authorized licensees are restaurant chain Chick-fil-A and telecommunications provider MetroPCS, points out Reuters in further detailing of the lawsuit.
They also report that the lawsuit asked the court to stop the unauthorized usage of the slogan in connection with Kid Rock’s tour and merchandise, and award Feld profits derived from the slogan’s use and triple unspecified damages. According to the suit, Feld earned more than $50 million annually in the last five years from goods and services sold under the trademark.
The tour in question is still being advertised with the “Greatest Show on Earth” slogan on Live Nation and Kid Rock’s website, and is scheduled to kick off December 31 in Kansas City.