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Coachella files yet another trademark lawsuit, this time against a Coachillin cannabis park

By | Published on Friday 28 October 2022

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Another day, another Coachella trademark battle. AEG’s Goldenvoice – as owner of the Coachella Festival – has filed yet another lawsuit against a company using a brand that allegedly trades off the reputation of the big old Californian music event.

This time the targeted company goes by the name Coachillin Holdings. That company’s main venture is the Coachillin Industrial Business Park which aims to be, and I quote, “a centre of excellence and innovation, setting a new standard of sustainability for California’s budding cannabis industry”. So that sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

The business park is based in California’s Coachella Valley and the people that base themselves there may well do plenty of ‘chillin’. However, says Goldenvoice, the term ‘coachillin’ is very much associated with its annual festival, where a whole load of ‘chillin’ goes on every year.

“The public has come to associate the phrase ‘Coachillin’ to refer to the Coachella Festival”, says Goldenvoice’s new lawsuit, “not merely to refer to the Coachella Valley – and certainly not Coachillin Holdings or its Coachillin Business Park”.

In fact, it goes on, “for many years, attendees of the festival, celebrities and musicians have referred to the Coachella Festival and commented with respect to their attendance, their outfits, or the culture related to the Coachella Festival by using the phrase ‘Coachillin'”.

And if all the social media posts from Coachella attendees using the hashtag #coachillin over the years aren’t proof of that, Goldenvoice would also like you to take note of how the good Urban Dictionary defines that term.

Coachillin, it states, is “the act of going to or hanging out at the Coachella Music Festival”. Hey, it even gives you an example of the term being used. “’Where are you? I just got to the festival’, says Zaffiro. ‘Yo! We’re Coachillin in VIP’, responds Cunana”. And that definition was posted by a user called PositivePanda in April 2011. What more proof do you need?

A Coachillin trademark was actually successfully registered all the way back in 2014 by a guy called Jeremy M Joseph, who initially wanted exclusive rights to the term in connection to Coachillin branded apparel and subsequently in relation to e-commerce activities.

Coachillin Holdings later acquired those trademark registrations from Joseph as well as seeking to register its own Coachillin marks, seemingly with plans to pursue various projects using the brand including that cannabis cultivation focused business park.

It was at that point that Goldenvoice began proceedings to get Joseph’s trademarks cancelled, mainly on the basis that he had never actually used them for the Coachillin branded products he originally said he intended to sell. During that process, Joseph also apparently admitted that his use of the Coachillin brand was related to the “chill” vibe available at the Coachella Festival.

Those original Coachillin trademarks were then cancelled, but Coachillin Holdings continued to seek to register its own marks and to use the Coachillin brand.

Goldenvoice’s lawsuit concludes: “Despite plaintiffs’ efforts and requests, defendants have made clear in the opposition that they have no intent of ceasing their infringing activities or plans therefor absent an injunction, thus forcing plaintiffs to file this action”.

So there you go. Goldenvoice has sued lots of businesses of late for using brand names similar to Coachella. We await to see how this one progresses. But, for now at least, Coachella’s trademark lawyers don’t seem to be doing any coachillin.