"While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my Tour after my song," Rock said in a declaration submitted to the court earlier this week, on which Amplify first reported. "I have changed the Tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming Tour—my music."
But the name change hasn't led Feld to drop its case. In a rebuttal filed Friday (Jan. 12), the company stated that Rock's voluntary decision to refrain from using the trademark does not change its need for a preliminary injunction. Attorney Brian Albritton claimed that Rock is still displaying the mark and intends to sell merchandise using the mark.
Citing Polo Fashions, Inc. v. Dick Bruhn, Inc., he wrote, "If the defendants sincerely intend not to infringe, the injunction harms them little; if they do, it gives [plaintiff] substantial protection of its trademark."
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially stopped touring last May after 146 years on the road due to low ticket sales following the 2015 decision to phase out the show's elephants. Feld continued to tour such family properties as Disney on Ice, Sesame Street Live, Marvel Universe and Monster Jam.
Feld is seeking damages and legal fees. A hearing on the preliminary injunction is set for Tuesday in Tampa, Florida, federal court.