The estate of Johnny Cash is suing the owners of a brewing company for promoting themselves as being related to the legendary singer.
According to court documents obtained by The Blast, the John R. Cash Revocable Trust is suing the Cash Brewing Company Inc.
The estate accuses the defendant of trademark infringement, violation of rights of publicity and common law trademark infringement.
The suit explains the estate owns the trademarks associated with the “renowned musical artist Johnny Cash. The Trust also owns the full right, title and interest to the name, likeness and persona of Johnny Cash.”
The estate says the defendant owns and operates a restaurant under the name Cash Brewing Company in Silverdale, Washington. They accuse the company of using the name to draw an “association between Mr. Cash and its business.”
The suit accuses the owners of using Johnny Cash’s name in connection with marketing, promotional activities including: “claims on Defendant’s website and social media pages that Defendant’s owners are distant relatives of Johnny Cash, and that CBS draws “influence from their cousin, Johnny Cash.”
Johnny’s estate takes issue with the brewery selling beer named “The Can in Black” a reference to Mr. Cash’s famous nickname, “The Man in Black.” The advertising for the beer “identifies it as “our Johnny Cash beer” and “a beer produced as a tribute to Johnny Cash.”
They also point to the brewing holding a Johnny Cash “musical tribute” with impersonators and using music paraphernalia featuring Johnny Cash.
The suit reads, “The Defendant’s use of the name, likeness, and persona of Johnny Cash is without permission or authorization from the Trust. Defendant’s actions are likely to confuse consumers as to the origin of Defendant’s goods and/or services by creating the false impression that Defendant is associated with the Trust.”
Johnny Cash’s estate is suing Cash Brewing Company seeking an injunction prohibiting them from using the singer’s name and unspecified damages.