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Now Coachella is annoyed about Bookchella

By | Published on Monday 17 January 2022


Another Coachella trademark battle? You bet! This time the Californian festival – owned by AEG’s Goldenvoice division – is trying to block the registration of the trademark Bookchella, a brand used by a publishing company for a series of book events aimed at children.

Goldenvoice has been quite busy of late trying to stop other people using similar names to Coachella for their events. Last September it took action against the organisers of Carchella, a series of car exhibitions that also featured hip hop acts. Fronted by US radio presenter DJ Envy, those events ultimately rebranded to become the Drive Your Dreams Car Show.

Then last month there was the spat over a mini-festival being organised on New Years Eve by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians at a casino complex it operates in the city of Coachella, which was called Coachella Day One 22.

Although no legal action was taken against the Native American tribe directly – its leadership likely shielded from such litigation by sovereign immunity – Goldenvoice got an injunction stopping Live Nation’s Ticketmaster from publicising the event under that name.

US-based Imagine Me Creative Book Publishing staged a virtual book tour last year under the banner ‘Bookchella, Young Readers To Future Leaders’ which, the official blurb stated, was “designed to encourage early learning and reading for children” with a focus on books by “authors that promote positive self-esteem, confidence, bravery, and affirmations”.

That certainly sounds like an admirable endeavour. But, reckons Goldenvoice, the publishing firm’s attempts to trademark the Bookchella brand within the US should be blocked because it infringes on its various Coachella and Chella trademarks.

In a legal filing formally opposing the Bookchella trademark last week, it stated: “Through the widespread use and advertising of its Coachella marks over a long period of time, and by virtue of the quality of goods and services sold in connection with the Coachella marks, opposer has built up valuable goodwill and a reputation in connection with the Coachella marks, both of which would be jeopardised by applicant’s use and registration of the mark ‘Bookchella, Young Readers To Future Leaders’ for identical, related, and/or overlapping goods and services”.

Because, let’s not forget, the Coachella festival is not just about the music. “The Coachella Music Festival is about more than the music”, the legal filing went on. “The festival’s venue also includes camping facilities for some 15,000 attendees (complete with a karaoke lounge and a general store), and an amazing selection of food and beverages from a wide range of restaurants”.

Not only that, but “the festival also features an art exhibit that includes many pieces of art. Taken together, the music, the food, the art, and of course, the fellowship of other attendees, the festival is more than just a concert to attend – it truly is an experience”.

As a result, it added, “applicant’s applied-for ‘Bookchella, Young Readers To Future Leaders’ mark so resembles opposer’s Coachella marks, previously used in commerce and/or registered by opposer and not abandoned, as to be likely, when applied to the goods/services of applicant, to cause confusion or to cause mistake, or to deceive. The registration of applicant’s mark would therefore damage opposer”.

So there you go. We await to see how the trademark board rules.