On The Heels Of Prince's $156M Estate Being Split In Half, A Company's Attempt To Trademark 'Purple Rain' Gets Rejected
Photo Credit: Bertrand Guay

On The Heels Of Prince's $156M Estate Being Split In Half, A Company's Attempt To Trademark 'Purple Rain' Gets Rejected

If you take a look at Prince’s career, it’s a known fact that the words “Purple Rain” was a pivotal moment in his impact across industries.

As previously reported by AfroTech, it’s the name of the music legend’s best-selling album. The phrase “Purple Rain” is also tied to his film debut in 1984, which went on to receive an Academy Award for “Best Original Song Score” and a Grammy for “Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special.” 

Prince’s influence is clear, which is why his estate recently won a trademark lawsuit.

Failed "Purple Rain" Trademark

According to Billboard, a tribunal at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected energy drink company Bang Energy from trademarking “Purple Rain” because it “uniquely and unmistakably” is coined by Prince.

“Consumers encountering applicant’s mark, when used in connection with applicant’s goods, will presume a connection between ‘Purple Rain’ and Prince,” said a judge on the decision, according to the outlet. 

The Proof

To further prove their case, the ruling cited a survey that asked participants what “comes to mind” when they saw the phrase “Purple Rain.” In turn, the results showed that 63 percent said “‘Prince’ or one of his works, like his 1984 rock musical film or the album and hit song of the same name.”

Attorneys For The Prince Estate Shared Their Stance:

“‘Purple rain’ is not a word in the English language. Prince chose the phrase and made it famous through a Grammy-winning album, a major motion picture, a song performed around the world, and the iconic image of the late artist in the costume, movie and tour. For the great majority of consumers, the only significance the term ‘Purple Rain’ has is to identify Prince and the image he made famous.”

A Peaceful Truce

Although the verdict wasn’t in Bang Energy’s favor, there are no hard feelings on their end.

“We greatly respect Prince and his estate and will not ‘rain’ on their parade,” Bang Energy CEO Jack Owoc told the outlet. Maybe we can negotiate a deal in the future that is mutually beneficial to both parties.”

Prince's Estate

The ruling comes on the heels of Prince’s $156 million estate being split in half between Primary Wave and Prince Legacy LLC after a six-year court battle, as previously reported by AfroTech last month.