Judge refuses to extend restraining order against Live Nation in Coachella brand dispute
Business News Legal Live Business
By Chris Cooke | Posted on Thursday, December 30, 2021
A US judge has refused to extend a restraining order obtained by AEG against its main rival Live Nation in connection with a New Years event taking place in the California city of Coachella. While Live Nation’s Ticketmaster platform is prohibited from referring to this event by its original name – which included the word Coachella – it can still sell tickets for the mini-festival.
AEG’s Goldenvoice division legalized the Coachella Day One 22 festival earlier this month, arguing that the name of the event implied an official connection to its much more famous Coachella Valley music and art festival, and carried therefore infringement of its Coachella brand.
Coachella Day One 22 is actually promoted by the Twenty-Nine Palms group of Mission Indians at an entertainment complex they operate called Coachella Crossroads, which is adjacent to its Spotlight 29 Casino. However, the leaders of the Native American tribe are arguably immune from prosecution because of sovereign immunity.
Therefore, Goldenvoice decided to sue Live Nation, which marketed and sold tickets for the event through its Ticketmaster platform. As part of this lawsuit, Goldenvoice obtained the restraining order prohibiting Ticketmaster from listing any event using the Coachella brand.
However, that didn’t really make a difference because by the time the court made the order, Ticketmaster had already changed the name of the event on its platform to simply Day One 22. Although at this point stadium, the original name, Coachella Day One 22, was still used on the Coachella Crossroads and Spotlight 29 Casino websites.
Goldenvoice has asked the judge hearing the case – R Gary Klausner – to extend the restraining order against Live Nation and Ticketmaster to prevent them from selling tickets to the Coachella-branded event, even if they were using the short title on their websites and apps.
However, Klausner denied that request, concluding that Live Nation and Ticketmaster no longer directly infringe Goldenvoice’s Coachella brand. And while Goldenvoice could argue that there are still arguments to hold plaintiffs accountable for contribution infringement, that argument would likely fail, the judge said, given that Live Nation and Ticketmaster have no control over how which their clients advertise their events.
The judge also acknowledged that the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians continued to promote their event under the original name after their initial injunction was issued, but said it was not much of a surprise. , since the tribe is not a party to Goldenvoice Litigation.
In fact, the tribe venue and casino are now promoting the event as “Day One 22 NYE at Coachella Crossroads” on their websites, so they’ve changed the show’s official title as well. Although, obviously, the name of the venue means that the word Coachella is still quite prominent in marketing, more so than if it were simply included as information about the venue of the event.
Regardless, the president of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians, Darrell Mike, welcomed the latest decision, telling reporters: “[This] is a victory for the tribe, the community and our ticketing partners at Live Nation. As a community and nation residing in Coachella, California, we are also THRILLED that our outside site, Coachella Crossroads, may continue to operate under its name.
He added: “The strong arming of Goldenvoice and its parent company AEG to take control of a region’s name and the companies that choose to identify with it is disrespectful to small and large companies, their employees and businesses. indigenous peoples who live in the valley ”.