Kid Rock and Live Nation are named as defendants in a federal lawsuit filed by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus because of the unauthorized use of the trademarked phrase “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The plaintiffs allege in a federal lawsuit filed on December 22, 2017 that neither Kid Rock or Live Nation are properly licensed to use their phrase.
Circus Owner Comments on Illegal Use of Phrase
“The Greatest Show on Earth” is a registered trademark of Feld Entertainment, the parent corporation of Ringling Bros., and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Although Barnum & Bailey and Ringling Bros., are no longer active, CEO Kenneth Feld issued a statement regarding the unauthorized use of the slogan by both Kid Rock and Live Nation.
“The historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros. for the past century, and it is recognized as a trusted brand of family-friendly entertainment. The Greatest Show on Earth continues to live on and will do so well into the future. We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished.”
Feld Entertainment: Kid Rock’s Use of the Phrase Harms Its Image
In the federal lawsuit, Feld Entertainment argues that Kid Rock’s unauthorized use of the phrase damages how it is viewed by the public. They refer to the phrase as “celebrated and valuable.” Feld Entertainment asked the court to order Live Nation and Kid Rock to stop using it as well as to turn over money that the defendants received from the sale of merchandise.
Yes, Feld Entertainment Continues to License Businesses to Use the Phrase
Despite the fact that neither Ringling Bros., or Barnum & Bailey’s are active, Feld Entertainment continues to grant licenses to use the phrase “The Greatest Show on Earth.” According to the lawsuit, previous license holders include Chick-Fil-A, Easter Seals, and Metro PCS. However, Kid Rock and Live Nation did not apply for a license to use the phrase. Feld Entertainment doesn’t believe that either defendant quite fit with their “family friendly” ideals they’ve worked hard to associate their phrase with.
Feld Entertainment is also asking the court for unspecified triple damages against the defendants.