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Miles Davis’s trademark owners sue jazz club for infringement

Miles Davis was a legendary jazz trumpeter and band leader and the current owners of his trademarks do not want to see his legacy diluted. His trademark owners, which include two of his children and a nephew, sued a jazz club recently, saying that Miles’ Cafe is infringing on Miles Davis’s trademarks.  

Miles Davis Properties LLC claims in their lawsuit that the owner of Miles’ Cafe is violating trademarks registered to them, including that of a silhouette of Davis playing his trumpet. The trademark owners say that the club is using Miles’s accomplishments to unfairly boost their club’s reputation.

The trademark owners have not allowed anyone to use Miles’s name or image in a business venture. The group does not allow businesses to use Miles’s prodigious talent and fame to boost their own profits. It will be interesting to see what happens, but they probably have a solid case.

The club’s owner told Bloomberg that he had had a dream in which Miles Davis told him to change his name to Miles and open a club named after him. The club owner is also a trumpet player.

Miles Davis, an inductee to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, lived from 1926 to 1991. According to the lawsuit, he released 67 studio albums and 51 live albums. His album “Kind of Blue,” released in 1959, is the best-selling jazz album ever made. He pioneered different genres of jazz, including hard bop, cool, fusion and modal. He was awarded eight Grammys for his work.

Source: Bloomberg, “Miles Davis’s Trademark Owners Sue New York’s Miles’ Cafe,” Don Jeffrey, Aug. 19, 2011

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