A trademark dispute is being fought between Twentieth Century Fox and Empire Distribution. Empire Distribution is a San Francisco-based record label. Fox has asked a judge to allow the network to continue using Empire as the title of its new television series. Empire Distribution claims that the title of the show has caused confusion about the artists it represents. Empire Distribution demands $8 million From Fox.
In the show Empire, the characters are members of a hip-hop record label. In the real world, Empire Distribution represents artists from music genres such as hip-hop, rap, R&B, rock and pop music.
In the real world, music from the television series has become very successful. In addition to sharing a name, the two record labels share similar business operations. The attorney representing Empire Distribution has called the case “text book infringement”. Only time will tell how this case concludes, and when it does, we plan to update our readers.
Trademark infringement means that another party has used a company’s identity or brand. A trademark is important because it gives a company an identity. Trademark infringement creates confusion among consumers, and it can take profit and recognition away from a business. For example, imagine that a company started making knock-off iPhones of poor quality. If Apple prides itself on quality, the knock-off brand would hurt Apple’s reputation.
Companies that are caught up in trademark disputes can resolve the matter by hiring an experienced business litigation attorney.
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