Bob Marley's estate has no love for chicken-finger chain

Raising Cane One Love

Cause of the love lawsuit.

The estate of reggae star Bob Marley is suing Raising Cane's, which has a franchise on Comm. Ave. near BU, for using "One Love" in its marketing efforts.

In a lawsuit filed last week in US District Court in Boston, Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, Ltd., charges Raising Cane's, which is best known for chicken fingers, has nothing to do with the reggae star, who died in 1981.

Fifty-Six Hope Road, based in the Bahamas, is owned by Marley's widow and children. The suit was filed by a law firm in Chelmsford.

The suit notes Marley recorded "One Love" in 1977 and that the song is well known worldwide:

Since his untimely death, Bob Marley's fame has only grown. Bob Marley was posthumously inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. The British Broadcast Company recognized "One Love" as the song and "Exodus" as the album of the millennium in 2009.

But because of the Raising Cane's campaign - for which it got its own trademark in 2002 - the estate says the US Patent and Trademark Office actually denied its request to trademark "Marley One Love.:

The Marley estate wants a judge to declare Raising Cane's use of the phrase in its marketing void and to order the company to pay it damages and legal fees.




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PDF icon Marley estate's complaint232.46 KB


and the menu

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Doesn't have a single Ital item

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Sorry, Marley

IANAL, but as this is a trademark case and not a copyright case, a judge is going to say that no consumer is going to buy a fried chicken meal thinking it is a reggae song because they use similar words.

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Not reggae songs?!

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I really need to reconsider why I go to Raisin' Canes.

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Perhaps, but ...

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There's also this from the complaint:

Hope Road has also licensed the right to use the identity, persona, song titles, and album titles of Bob Marley, including the MARLEY ONE LOVE mark to restaurants since as early as 1999. Specifically, Hope Road has licensed the MARLEY ONE LOVE mark and Bob Marley marks and Bob Marley's name and likeness to Universal Studios for use in its restaurant titled "Bob Marley, A Tribute to Freedom" since 1999. Universal Studios uses the MARLEY ONE LOVE Mark and other Bob Marley song titles on its menu and in other ways in its restaurant.

In 2011, Hope Road was approached by an Alabama company seeking to license the "MARLEY ONE LOVE" Mark from Hope Road in connection with their proposal to open and operate a new restaurant.

Specifically, the Alabama company proposed to open a restaurant in Orange Beach, Alabama called "Bob Marley's One Love Café," which would feature up to 15,000 square feet of dining and retail space and have seating for 500 patrons.

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Interesting twist

Still, it looks like the eatery trademarked the term to use in association with restaurant use, not to sell songs. So when the Marley estate tried to trademark its term for restaurant use, they were denied. I am going with Raising Cane's here. They had no reason to think that the Marley estate was going into the restaurant business.

Plus, the term "One Love" is trademarked for use in electronic cigarettes, jewelry, and women's shoes by different entities. It isn't like the term is specifically protected by the Marley estate.

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