California’s Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival has slammed D.C Area music event “Moechella” with a lawsuit. Due to the similar name of the renowned festival, the Washington organizer is being sued for trademark infringement, although he’s already agreed to change his event title.
According to Billboard, Coachella’s lawsuit states Justin Johnson, the organizer of the small D.C. go-go event, has continued to use the allegedly infringing name. However, he’s agreed to have it changed. Last month, he reportedly announced 10 events with the name still intact on the event’s branding.
On Tuesday, January 31st, laywers for AEG’s subsidiary Golden Voice LLC., filed a complaint against “Moechella,” stating:
“Despite plaintiffs’ repeated efforts to avoid litigation, defendants have made clear that they have no intent of ceasing their infringing activities, forcing Plaintiffs to file this action.”
Johnson Speaks About The “Unexpected” Lawsuit
During a recent interview with Billboard, however, Johnson stated he was surprised to be slammed by the lawsuit. He’s already agreed to “pivot away” from the name and continues to do so.
“These events are protests that have spawned out of the gentrification of D.C. and the erasure of the culture in this city, not festivals for monetary gain,” Johnson stated. “It’s surprising that a multi-billion dollar company is approaching a non-profit organization like this.”
This dispute first began to surface last summer, when the Coachella filed legal documents to block Johnson from registering the name as a federal trademark. Although he dropped the trademark application, Johnson stated that he was not going to stop using the Moechella name even after those complaints were made.
In the new lawsuit, attorneys state that the problem does not lie on the event itself, only it’s title. Due to to its similarity to the Coachella name, it may seem to be playing off the widely-recognized festival and can lead to confusion.
This lawsuit comes just after a long string of complaints filed by the California music event. Last year, the festival group sued Ghanaian festival “Afrochella,” stating the event was intentionally using its name to gain popularity.
Stay tuned for the outcome of this new trademark lawsuit.