Feld Entertainment, the owner of circus company Ringling Bros, is suing Kid Rock and promoter Live Nation for trademark infringement over the name of the upcoming Greatest Show on Earth tour.
Feld claims the tour, announced in October and due to kick off at Bridgestone Arena (20,000-cap.) in Nashville on 19 January, dilutes and infringes on its “famous trademark”, ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’.
Its lawsuit, Feld Entertainment, Inc. et al v. Ritchie et al, was filed in the US district court for middle Florida before Christmas, and seeks to force Kid Rock – real name Robert James Richie – and Live Nation to change the name of the tour and turn over any revenue from merchandise featuring the disputed slogan, as well as additional unspecified damages.
According to Feld’s general counsel, Lisa Joiner, the company took the decision to go to the courts after “repeatedly contact[ing] defendants to obtain their cooperation to stop the infringement and [being] ignored”.
“We have authorised licensees for Ringling Bros and The Greatest Show On Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them”
“We have authorised licensees for Ringling Bros and The Greatest Show On Earth, but Kid Rock is not one of them,” she adds.
“This historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros for the past century, and it is recognised as a trusted and iconic brand of family-friendly entertainment,” says Kenneth Feld, Feld Entertainment’s chairman and CEO. “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.”
An initial hearing is set for 9.30am on 16 January – three days before the start of the tour – with judge Mary S. Scriven presiding.
IQ celebrated Feld’s 50 years in the family entertainment spotlight with an anniversary feature in issue 70.
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