A legal battle is going on right now between two different Empires. On March 23rd, Twentieth Century Fox Television which is the home of the series “Empire”, filed a federal suit against Empire Distribution to make sure they were protected in the rights to use the Empire name and property. The record label and distribution company have responded. In a press release, Empire Distribution CEO Ghazi Shami says ..
“FOX’s Empire television program has created significant confusion with EMPIRE’s products and services. Customers, artists and business partners have all expressed confusion to my employees, artists, and me as to whether the Empire program has any affiliation or business relationship with EMPIRE. It does not.” “Fox, through the Empire program, advertises, distributes, and streams music and sells downloads under the ‘Empire’ mark. This music shares the same search terms as EMPIRE’s music, the musical genres are identical, and the songs and albums are positioned in close proximity in online outlets such as iTunes, Google Play, Amazon.com, and Spotify. It isn’t just a fictional show; they are functioning as a record label in the real world,” said Shami. “This only makes the public confusion worse.” “We are confident that this is a textbook trademark infringement case,” said Michael Hobbs, who is a partner with Troutman Sanders LLP, the law firm representing EMPIRE. “EMPIRE was started over five years before the first broadcast of the show, the marks are identical, and they sell the same products to the same customers. The significant number of incidents of actual public confusion is disturbing.”
Michael Hobbs also claims that they reached out to FOX on more than one occasion to solve the situation but was declined. This story is still developing..
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