The court has ruled in favor of Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in a trademark spat with a small outdoor film event called Filmchilla, formally referred to as Filmchella.
Coachella filed a complaint with the district court of central California in August, due to the fact the film festival could cause “consumer confusion” with the well established music festival in Indio, CA.
Originally the film festival changed its name from Filmchella to Filmchilla to avoid a lawsuit, but that wasn’t enough. The “single-letter change [was] insufficient to dispel any consumer confusion.”
According to ID Mag, Goldenvoice accused Filmchella founder Robert Trevor Simms and up to 20 others with the following: servicemark infringement, false designation of origin, brand dilution, cybersquatting and unfair competition over “attempts to operate a directly competitive festival” in close proximity to Coachella.
The plaintiff alleged the film event of “trading on the goodwill of [the] plaintiffs’ famous Coachella festival” in its description of Filmchella. “Coachella for movies” and “the rock’n’roll festival for filmmakers and fans” hit a little too close to home, as well as the registered filmcoachella.com website.
In sum, “given that there is an inherent likelihood of confusion regarding the extent to which Filmchella is associated with Coachella, Filmchella’s success or failure would be likely to impact Coachella’s reputation as well.”
Source: ID Mag