The logo of Universal Music Group (UMG) is seen at a building in Zurich, Switzerland July 20, 2021. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Republic Records sues ‘Republic’ investment platform over trademarks

(Reuters) – Common Music Group’s Republic Records sued on-line investment platform Republic in Manhattan federal courtroom on Friday, accusing the platform of infringing its trademarks with its service for music-related investments.

Common Music Group (UMG) said the platform will trigger shopper confusion with the Republic Records label, whose artists embody Taylor Swift, Drake, Stevie Marvel and different widespread musicians. It requested for a courtroom order blocking Republic from utilizing its title for music-related companies.

UMG mentioned the events had mentioned a settlement all through October, however Republic dropped out of the talks and launched the service Nov. 4.

New York-based Republic did not instantly reply to a request for remark, nor did UMG or its legal professional David Donahue of Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu.

Republic was based in 2016 and presents investing alternatives in fields together with actual property, cryptocurrency, video video games and startups. Its advisers embody businesswoman Randi Zuckerberg and enterprise capitalist Tim Draper.

In line with the grievance, Republic’s music-investment service permits customers to purchase non-fungible tokens (NFT) in unreleased songs and obtain royalties and “exclusive perks” resembling live performance tickets and merchandise when the songs are streamed.

“In other words, Defendant’s Republic Marks are used in connection with the full suite of goods and services that record labels typically offer,” UMG mentioned.

The grievance mentioned UMG and Republic Records are additionally planning to develop into NFTs.

In line with UMG, the platform has already brought about confusion amongst music-industry professionals and others who mistakenly thought the 2 have been affiliated.

UMG mentioned it would not object to Republic’s use of the title for different investment companies “as long as they do not overlap with the music industry.”

The case is UMG Recordings Inc v. OpenDeal Inc d/b/a Republic, U.S. District Court docket for the Southern District of California, No. 1:21-cv-09358.

For UMG: David Donahue of Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu

Blake Brittain

Blake Brittain stories on mental property legislation, together with patents, trademarks, copyrights and commerce secrets and techniques. Attain him at [email protected]