Those Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus kids have been calling their dog and pony and lion and tiger and elephant and clown show The Greatest Show On Earth for almost a century and a half — so when that whippersnapper Kid Rock came along and hijacked their moniker for his tour name, they weren’t having any of it.
Due to a lawsuit flung at him by the circusmeisters, Kid Rock, who got quite a kick out of everyone falling for his fake Senate run recently, has changed the tour name from The Greatest Show On Earth to The American Rock N Roll Tour. Previously, it had been named after the opening track on his latest album Sweet Southern Sugar.
Quoth Mr. Ritchie: “While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my Tour after my song, I have changed the Tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming Tour—my music.”
However, the name change has not caused the lawyers to back off. On Friday, Feld Entertainment, owners of the intellectual property in question, filed a rebuttal, saying that Rock’s decision to quit using their trademark doesn’t remove the need for a preliminary injunction. Legal eagle Brian Albritton says that Rock is still displaying the mark, and intends to flog merchandise using it. “If the defendants sincerely intend not to infringe, the injunction harms them little; if they do, it gives [plaintiff] substantial protection of its trademark,” he writes.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially exited stage left last May after 146 years due to low ticket sales, which were largely attributed to their decision to retire the show’s elephants. A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for Tuesday in Tampa Florida federal court.