UPDATE 10/10 | Ultra has released an official statement regarding the court decision made last night in the case of Worldwide Entertainment Group, Inc. vs. Adria MM Productions Ltd.
Worldwide Entertainment Group, Inc. (“Worldwide Entertainment”) is pleased with the jury’s findings. The jury not only rejected the fraud claims asserted by Worldwide Entertainment’s former licensee (Adria MM), but also, it found that the Promotional Agreement between the parties was valid and enforceable. The jury further and correctly recognized Ultra as the rightful owner of the well-known Ultra brand for international music festivals, including Ultra’s circle U design mark.
Despite these undisputed facts, it has been falsely reported that Adria MM had either prevailed in this case and / or that this case involved a “trademark dispute” respecting the right to use the Ultra brand for similar events in Europe. To the contrary, Adria MM filed a ten-count complaint. No count alleged trademark infringement. Adria MM lost on all counts, except on its claim for tortious interference, which was based on allegations that Worldwide Entertainment’s actions to retake its 2017 production from the admittedly defaulted licensee was undertaken too swiftly. No findings were made, and no inferences can be drawn, that Worldwide Entertainment did not own its brands and trademarks.
Worldwide Entertainment and its current licensee are already hard at work putting together its lineup for the 2019 Ultra Europe event.
Ultra Europe is still on track for 2019 and tickets are currently on sale.
Since April last year, Florida-based Worldwide Entertainment Group Inc., promoters of the Ultra Miami Music Festival, and Adria MM Productions Ltd., a Croatian company that produces music festivals in Croatia and Europe, have been in litigation. Yesterday, the suit finally concluded, with both parties being found guilty of respective offenses.
Yano Rubinstein, lead counsel for Adria, claimed that Worldwide had “secretly sabotaged Adria’s communication channels, both internally and with its customers.” Effectively, Rubinstein claimed, Worldwide had tapped Adria’s emails by changing their passwords and forwarding all emails to Worldwide’s attorneys. Adria’s company emails and social media pages were also affected.”
Worldwide also allegedly told ticket vendors to turn over all proceeds to them directly.
Rubinstein continued, “They learned that Adria was discussing doing a different festival with someone Worldwide considered a competitor. Once Worldwide realized that Adria was not likely to sign another five-year contract, they did everything they could to force Adria to sign. This included seizing the monies from the ticket sales.”
A Miami judge declared Worldwide was guilty of breach of contract and intentional interference with the business relations of Adria and ordered the company to pay $866,000 in damages. However, the jury also found that Adria had breached its contract with Worldwide, and owed $366,211 in damages.
As for how this affects Ultra Europe in 2019 is unclear.