Country Star Jelly Roll Faces Trademark Infringement Suit From Pennsylvania Band of Same Name

Country Star Jelly Roll Faces Trademark Infringement Suit from Pennsylvania Band Jellyroll
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One day, scholars may point to the landmark case Jellyroll vs. Jelly Roll as a turning point in the music industry — but more likely, it’ll be a news story in 2024 that causes a lot of wordplay and confusion.

Pennsylvania-based band Jellyroll has been performing at weddings and charity events in the Keystone State since 1980 and has held a trademark for their name since 2010. The band is now suing country star Jelly Roll to stop him from performing under the same name.

Kurt L. Titchenell, a member of Jellyroll, “seeks injunctive relief” against defendant Jason DeFord (a.k.a Jelly Roll) for service mark infringement, according to court documents obtained by Court Watch. Titchenell’s band has had the trademark for nearly15 years, most recently renewing the mark in 2019.

The suit alleges that by Jelly Roll using the name, it has damaged the band’s ability to get their name out, causing “confusion in the marketplace.”

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“Prior to the Defendant’s recent rise in notoriety, a search of the name of Jellyroll on most search engines, and particularly Google, returned references to the Plaintiff,” the suit says. “Now, any such search on Google returns multiple references to Defendant, perhaps as many as 18-20 references before any reference to Plaintiff’s entertainment dance band known as Jellyroll® can be found.”

Country Star Jelly Roll Faces Trademark Infringement Suit from Pennsylvania Band Jellyroll 2
Jelly Roll John Shearer/Getty Images for Jelly Roll

Jelly Roll has said that his mother gave him the nickname as a child, long before his career began. He did not begin using the name as a performer until around 2010, the same time that Jellyroll initially obtained the trademark.

The band Jellyroll’s biggest gig came in 2007 when President George W. Bush’s daughters saw them play and they earned an invitation to play at the White House. Former first lady Laura Bush later asked the band to play at her 44th high school reunion.

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The suit comes after Titchenell’s lawyers sent Jelly Roll a cease and desist letter in February to no avail. After “several conversations,” per the suit, Jelly Roll’s lawyers “inquired as to whether Defendant was really in competition with Plaintiff.”

Jelly Roll then announced a tour in the northeast, which included a stop in Pennsylvania. To market the tour, he has used his “professionally adopted and infringing name Jelly Roll,” per the suit.

All the while, the lawsuit claims that the band, Jellyroll, “has greatly expanded [its] market reach to all states in the Northeast United States from Connecticut to Virginia. [Its] market penetration continues to expand.”

Jelly Roll has not yet commented publicly on the lawsuit. Us Weekly reached out for comment.