Jelly Roll sued by Pennsylvania wedding band Jellyroll over trademark infringement

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Jelly Roll is dealing with some not so sweet legal issues.

The Grammy-nominated country singer has been sued by a member of the wedding band Jellyroll for trademark infringement in a lawsuit filed in a federal court in Pennsylvania's eastern district on April 8, court records obtained by USA TODAY show.

Jellyroll band member Kurt L. Titchenell claims their band started using the moniker in 1980, before the "Wild Ones" singer was born. They first obtained a trademark in 2010 and it was renewed for another 10 years in 2019, paperwork filed in the United States Patent and Trademark Office shows.

In Titchenell's trademark complaint against Jelly Roll (born Jason Bradley DeFord), he says the band has been performing at events under Jellyroll "since at least 1980," including "two appearances at the White House for President George W. Bush and his family."

Jelly Roll is being sued for trademark infringement by a Pennsylvania wedding band.
Jelly Roll is being sued for trademark infringement by a Pennsylvania wedding band.

The band said prior to the rapper-turned-country singer's rise to fame, a query for the name Jellyroll on search engines such as Google would bring results back to them. Now, Google search results don't get to them until "as many as 18-20 references."

USA TODAY has reached out to representatives for Jelly Roll for comment.

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Titchenell claims in the complaint that Jelly Roll was sent a cease and desist for using the moniker but "ignored this demand" all while "knowing that it continues to irreparably harm" the band.

The country musician has been going by Jelly Roll since childhood, which he told CBS in January stems from a nickname given to him by his mother.

"To this day, my mother calls me Jelly. If somebody walked in here right now and said, 'Jason,' I wouldn't look up," he told the outlet.

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In addition to making it more difficult for people to search for the Pennsylvania-based wedding band, Titchenell alleges Jelly Roll's "troubled past, which includes a felony conviction and imprisonment," has "caused additional harm" for possible association confusion.

Jelly Roll was formerly incarcerated for two counts of aggravated robbery and possession with intent to sell cocaine. The admitted former drug dealer is now an advocate for drug reform, particularly the fentanyl crisis.

"Fentanyl transcends partisanship and ideology. ... This is a totally different problem … I am not here to defend the use of illegal drugs," he said during a January appearance before Congress on Capitol Hill at a hearing titled "Stopping the Flow of Fentanyl: Public Awareness and Legislative Solutions."

He also noted his "unique paradox of his history as a drug dealer" who was "part of the problem" and now aims "to be a part of the solution."

Titchenell's complaint argues the band has been especially frustated as Jelly Roll plans to embark on his nationwide Beautifully Broken tour, which includes a stop in Philadelphia at a venue where the band is "well-known and has performed."

Contributing: Melissa Ruggieri, Natalie Neysa Alund and Jeanine Santucci

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jelly Roll sued by wedding band for trademark infringement: Here's why