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Guns N‘ Roses Sues Texas Firearms Retailer Over ‘Guns and Roses’ Name

Trademark infringement is always bad, but the band says it's "particularly damaging" to be associated with guns and "polarizing" political views.

Guns N’ Roses has an appetite for litigation.

The iconic ’80s rock band is suing a gun retailer that’s using the name “Texas Guns and Roses,” arguing that the name infringes the band’s trademark rights — and that they especially don’t want to be associated with firearms or “polarizing” political views.

In a complaint filed Thursday (Dec. 1) in Los Angeles federal court, GNR said the Houston-based retailer — operating under the corporate name Jersey Village Florists LLC — is clearly using the name to dupe consumers into thinking the band had somehow endorsed the business.

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That would be bad no matter what the company was selling, but GNR’s lawyers said it was “particularly damaging” to the band “given the nature of Defendant’s business.”

“GNR, quite reasonably, does not want to be associated with defendant, a firearms and weapons retailer,” wrote the band’s lawyers, hailing from the law firm Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP. “Furthermore, defendant espouses political views related to the regulation and control of firearms and weapons on the website that may be polarizing to many U.S. consumers.”

According to GNR’s lawsuit, Texas Guns and Roses claims to sell actual roses on its website, but the band says it’s all a ruse: “This is a contrivance to purportedly justify defendant’s wholesale appropriation of the ‘Guns N’ Roses.”

Guns N’ Roses derived its name from the names of founding members Axl Rose and Tracii Guns, who served as lead guitarist when the band was formed in 1985 but was quickly replaced by Slash before the band’s blockbuster debut album Appetite for Destruction in 1987.

In addition to trademark infringement, Thursday’s lawsuit accused Texas Guns and Roses of so-called trademark dilution — a form of legal wrongdoing where someone uses your trademark in such a way that can “tarnish” its value. Linking a brand name to undesirable associations like a dangerous product or offensive views can form the basis for such claims.

Jersey Village Florists could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday.

It’s not the first time Guns N’ Roses has taken legal action over its name. Back in 2019, the band filed a similar trademark infringement lawsuit against Colorado craft brewery Oskar Blues after it launched a “Guns ‘N’ Rosé” ale. (The case quickly settled.) And in 2020, the band successfully petitioned the U.S. trademark office to block the grocery chain Aldi from registering “Sweet Cheddar of Mine” as a trademark for cheese.

Read the entire lawsuit here: