Prince Estate Wants To Shutdown Purple Rain Wine
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In the summer of 2021, Prince‘s estate began legal proceedings against the Ohio winery that has been selling “Purple Rain” wine.
Prince’s estate is claiming that the popularity of the phrase “purple rain” is directly linked to the musician and that the wine’s name results in a “likelihood of confusions” and a “false suggestion of a connection” to the artist.
Ohio’s L’uva Bella Winery was awarded for the brand name in 2019, but it began selling the brand in 2016. The estate sued the winery hoping to have the trademark revoked, but lawyers for L’uva Bella has responded in a recent court filing against it saying: There can be no confusion because Prince didn’t drink alcohol.
The new filing with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board read:
“To the extent Prince was famous, he was equally famous for his disdain of alcohol.
“Prince was a teetotaler who despised alcohol. Prince never lent his name to any product or enterprise during his lifetime, and never endorsed or promoted any products, let alone any products bearing the name ‘Purple Rain.’ The fans of Prince, knowledgeable about his beliefs and views, would never associate an alcohol-containing product with the artist.”
Despite this argument, the brand itself appears to contradict the claim in its own promotional materials. In L’uva Bella’s website marketing, the Purple Rain brand wine describes the beverage as a “little red wine,” something which could be seen as a cunning reference to Prince’s 1982 hit “Little Red Corvette.”
Last year, lawyers for Prince’s estate said in a statement shared with Rolling Stone:
“The estate protects the intellectual property Prince created during his lifetime, including his image and the trademark ‘Purple Rain,’ which is strongly associated with him.
“‘Purple Rain’ is Prince’s most famous song, album, tour, movie, etc., and there can be no doubt that ‘Purple Rain’ signifies Prince. Prince is also undisputedly one of the most famous musicians of all time.”
Prince died in 2016, leaving no will.