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Miles Davis’s trademark owners: infringement is not ‘cool’

The owners of Miles Davis’s trademarks are protective of those trademarks and do not want to see them lose their value through other people’s eagerness to associate themselves with the pioneering jazz musician. According to Bloomberg, the Miles Davis Properties LLC is suing a jazz club called Miles’ Club for trademark infringement.

The trademark owners include two of Miles Davis’s children and a nephew of the late musician. They say that Miles’ Club is violating their trademarks in order to generate business, and that this is certainly not authorized. They say that the club is using the registered trademark of a silhouette image of Davis playing his trumpet.

The owner of the jazz club is a trumpeter himself. According to Bloomberg, the owner said that Miles Davis appeared to him in a dream and told him to change his name to Miles and open a jazz club in his name.

The trademark owners say in the lawsuit that they have not authorized the use of Miles Davis’s trademarks for any business ventures. In the lawsuit they point out Davis’s many accomplishments that an unrelated business might want to unfairly use to build their reputation by association.

Davis released 67 studio albums and 51 live albums. He also released the all-time best-selling jazz album in 1959 with “Kind of Blue.” He was no ordinary artist, but pioneered new kinds of jazz, including modal, hard bop, fusion and cool. Davis died in 1991 at the age of 65.

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

John P. Aldrich
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