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Jelly Roll Sued for Alleged Trademark Infringement – Details

Jelly Roll Sued for Alleged Trademark Infringement – Details

Jelly Roll is on the receiving end of a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement over his stage name.

Rolling Stone reports that Kurt L. Titchenell has filed suit against Jelly Roll, whose real name is Jason DeFord. Titchenell is the leader of a Pennsylvania-based dance band called Jellyroll, and in his suit, he states that his band has used that name since March of 1980, more than four years before DeFord was born. They received a trademark in August of 2010, and renewed that trademark most recently in December of 2019.

The band Jellyroll has performed in the Northeast and the Delaware Valley for decades, according to the suit, in a series of public and private events, including a 2007 invitation from then-President George W. Bush to perform at the White House.

According to the legal filing that Court Watch obtained, Titchenell seeks injunctive relief for service mark infringement, false designation of origin and/or sponsorship, dilution, common law palming off, trademark and trade name infringement and unfair competition, and injury to business reputation and dilution.

The lawsuit alleges that since Jelly Roll’s “recent rise in notoriety” — which includes No. 1 country hits with “Son of a Sinner, “Save Me” and “Need a Favor,” as well as CMA and CMT Awards wins and Grammy nominations — search engines including Google have consistently prioritized his results over the band’s, significantly injuring their online exposure.

READ MORE: Rock + Metal Bands That Were Forced to Change Their Names

The band’s attorneys sent Jelly Roll a cease-and-desist letter in February of 2024, followed by discussions between the parties’ lawyers in which Jelly Roll’s attorney allegedly “inquired as to whether Defendant really was in competition with Plaintiff.”

Jelly Roll has announced dates for a massive 2024 tour called the Beautifully Broken Tour, which the suit alleges constitutes continued infringement. The legal filing is asking for an injunction to prevent Jelly Roll or any of his representatives from using that name during the course of the legal action.

Jelly Roll has not commented publicly on the suit.

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Gallery Credit: Billy Dukes