American rock band Guns N’ Roses has sued a company that runs an online gun store named Texas Guns and Roses, saying the weapon dealer appropriated its name unjustly.
In a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles, lawyers for the band said a corporation that runs the online shop was conning consumers into believing the business had something to do with the rock band.
Guns N’ Roses “quite reasonably does not want to be associated with Defendant, a firearms and weapons retailer”, the lawsuit said.
Additionally, the band claimed, the gun dealer “espouses political views related to the regulation and control of firearms and weapons on the Website that may be polarizing to many US consumers”.
Guns N’ Roses, formed in 1985, is one of the most successful bands of all time and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. Its members are Axl Rose, Saul “Slash” Hudson, and Michael “Duff” McKagan.
The lawsuit identified Jersey Village Florist LLC as the owner and operator of Texas Guns and Roses, which it said sells firearms and ammunition, scopes, body armour and metal safes, among other items.
‘Nobody thinks we’re the band’
The online business is registered at a Houston address and obtained its Texas registry listing in 2016 without Guns N’ Roses’ “approval, license, or consent”, according to the suit.
Lawyers for the rock group are seeking a jury trial and a court order barring the use of the website name as well as unspecified punitive damages.
David L Clark, a Houston-based lawyer representing Jersey Village Florist, told City News Service said he believes Guns N’ Roses’ legal team filed in federal court because they were unlikely to convince the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel Texas Guns and Roses’ registration.
“There’s never been any confusion [between the band and the website] and they have no evidence of confusion,” Clark argued.
“This is an attempt to run up costs and burn us out … Our client sells metal safes for guns and flowers, and have a one-stop website and absolutely no one is confused. Nobody thinks we’re the band or there is some affiliation. We will be fighting back.”
Forming in 1985 in Los Angeles, Guns N’ Roses signed to Geffen Records the following year. The band has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making it one of the biggest selling acts in history.