IP Law News

LL Cool J Wins Trademark Fight Over ‘Rock the Bells’

April 11, 2019, 5:33 PM

Rapper and actor LL Cool J has prevailed in a lawsuit against a concert promoter that allegedly infringed his “Rock the Bells” trademarks.

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer granted a motion for default judgment in the case, saying defendant Guerilla Union Inc. failed to respond or hadn’t “otherwise appeared or participated in this litigation.” Fischer approved the performer’s request for injunctive relief, requiring the transfer of the domain name and social media assets.

The April 8 judgment effectively ends litigation brought by LL Cool J, whose real name is James Todd Smith, in 2018. Smith alleged that Guerilla held a series of concerts featuring hip hop artists under the Rock the Bells mark.

Fischer said injunctive relief was appropriate because there was a “likelihood of irreparable harm in the form of damages to his trademarks, business reputation, and goodwill.” Fischer also said he doubted that legal remedies would be “adequate to compensate for this harm” and that injunctive relief would protect the public from confusion.

Representatives for Smith didn’t immediately respond to comment requests. Guerilla Union couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP in Los Angeles represented Smith.

The case is James Todd Smith v. Guerilla Union Inc., C.D. Cal., No. 2:18-cv-09902-DSF-AGR, order 4/8/19

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcafee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor on this story: Keith Perine at kperine@bloomberglaw.com

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