Business News Legal

Earth, Wind & Fire trademark dispute will continue in Florida court

By | Published on Tuesday 22 August 2023

A trademark lawsuit being pursued by a company owned by the sons of late Earth, Wind & Fire founder Maurice White will proceed after a judge in Florida declined to dismiss the litigation on jurisdiction grounds.

Earlier this year Earth, Wind & Fire IP LLC sued Substantial Music Group and Stellar Communications Inc over shows that they have promoted which involve musicians who played with Earth, Wind & Fire in the past.

Those gigs were originally marketed as the ‘Earth, Wind & Fire Legacy Reunion’ and later the ‘Legacy Reunion Of Earth, Wind & Fire Alumni’.

Through those shows, it was claimed in the lawsuit, the promoters infringed trademarks owned by Earth, Wind & Fire IP LLC, as well confusing fans into thinking the concerts had an official connection to the group.

The lawsuit was filed with the courts in Florida. The defendants then argued that they have no base in that state and therefore the litigation should be dismissed on jurisdiction grounds, or alternatively moved to a court in the state of Georgia.

However, ‘Legal Reunion’ shows did take place in Florida, meaning – the plaintiffs argued – the two defendants had infringed their rights within the state. And that, the judge overseeing the case concluded last week, is sufficient to give his court jurisdiction over the dispute.

Attempts by Stellar Communications to distant itself from the Florida shows also failed. As a result, the case will continue.