February 1, 2019
LL Cool J recently filed a complaint alleging that his trademark over the term “Rock the Bells” is being infringed upon by a hip-hop music festival of the same name (Case 2:18-cv-09902-CAS-AGR). Rock the Bells was the title of one of LL Cool J’s 1985 hits, and is the name of his classic hip-hop channel on Sirius XM.
Although the Rock the Bells hip-hop festival is now defunct, it continues to use the name on its website and social media. LL Cool J is arguing that this limited, passive use is nevertheless likely to cause confusion and may lead consumers to believe that he is associated with the festival. He further alleges that the association will cause damage to his trademarks, business reputation and goodwill, and seeks an injunction, profits, punitive damages and attorney’s fees.
This is the eleventh application the rapper has filed in relation to the trademarked phrase. In the past two years, he has successfully cancelled three trademarks registered to Guerilla Union, Inc., the company which produced the festival until 2013.