In the world of the free market, “frivolous lawsuits” are the bogeyman. Of course, most of those lawsuits characterized as “frivolous” aren’t actually so… they’re just being called frivolous by the defendants in order to get out of them…
That does not, however, mean that there’s no such thing as frivolous lawsuits. They most certainly exist, and I have one very good example:
Go ahead… let that sink in…
A Nashville startup that sells artisan cigars has stumbled into a legal dispute with a 145-year-old farmers association over a product named after a piece of Led Zeppelin lore.
Crowned Heads, a company less than 2 years old, introduced the “Headley Grange” cigar line recently, finding inspiration in the name of a 19th-century poorhouse in East Hampshire, England, in which rock group Led Zeppelin reportedly wrote and recorded many of its hit songs.
On a product description, the company said the cigars were blended to evoke the heavy drums heard during the opening of Led Zeppelin’s “When the Levee Breaks,” which was recorded at Headley Grange.
The company filed for a trademark on the name, but days before the patent’s comment period ended, a farmers group by the tongue-twisting name of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry objected.
It is a farmers outfit whose membership and stature peaked decades ago, although it still lobbies and serves as a voice for thousands of the country’s agricultural workers.
Evidently the group, based in Washington, D.C., has also become protective of its name. The group’s attack on the Nashville startup is one of among dozens of companies that the Grange has targeted over the years.
In a notice of opposition to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Grange wrote that the public is likely to confuse the cigar line with the group, adding that the “Headley Grange” brand could tarnish the reputation of the farmers group, whose national membership now stands at 160,000, compared with the 500,000 members it had at the turn of the century.
I don’t know who these National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry think they are, but, IMO, they are fucking idiots.
Why haven’t they sued Led Zeppelin for putting “Recorded in 1971 at Headly Grange, Hampshire, with The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio” on the liner notes for “Black Dog”, “Rock and Roll”, “The Battle of Evermore”, “Misty Mountain Hop”, “Going to California”, and “When the Levee Breaks”? Why haven’t they sued Headley Grange?
“…the “Headley Grange” brand could tarnish the reputation of the farmers group, whose national membership now stands at 160,000, compared with the 500,000 members it had at the turn of the century.”
You’re tarnishing your reputation all by yourselves. You don’t need help. This is why your membership has dropped from 500,000 at the turn of the century to 160,000 now… because your a bunch of sue-happy morons trying to copyright a word that has been in free use for 700+ years. You don’t get to do that, idiots.
Now I’m just speculating, here, but I’ll bet those 340,000 people who left did so because of stupid shit like this.
Grow up you immature morons. Headley Grange is the name of a house where Led Zeppelin recorded arguably one of the most important albums ever to be recorded and released, and now it’s the name of a cigar that I very much want to try.
Crowned Heads, the company making the Headley Grange cigar, characterized it as “trademark bullying”.
I think I agree…
On another note… where can I get one of these Headley Grange cigars?