Coachella Music Festival LLC, the organization behind the popular desert-based Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit earlier this month against the organizers of “Filmchella” arguing that the name is confusingly similar to “Coachella”. According to the complaint, Filmchella, like Coachella, is an event held in Southern California, and features a variety of entertainment and musical acts. The plaintiff alleges that Filmchella has ignored its repeated requests to change the name of its film festival, which, if changed, could prevent confusion or false association.
Takeaway: This case serves as a reminder that events and festivals are also owners of intellectual property rights. Brands that wish to create an event that plays on an existing festival or event should consider any potential trademark and false association claims that could arise.