KVUE – The company behind a downtown Austin movie theater is suing the developer behind a planned amphitheater, claiming the amphitheater’s name is a trademark infringement.
Violet Crown Cinemas LLC owns and operates the Violet Crown Austin Theater on West Second Street. The Austin location was the company’s first, although it has since opened additional locations in Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Charlottesville, North Carolina; and plans to open another in Dallas next year.
According to a copy of the lawsuit obtained by KVUE, Violet Crown owns several trademarks, including “Violet Crown” relating to theaters, film production and distribution, and bar and restaurant services, as well as “Violet Crown Cinemas” in connection with cinemas.
International Development Management Co. is planning a project near Bee Cave that includes an amphitheater called the Violet Crown Amphitheater. IDM aims to open the first rooms of its Violet Crown project in 2023, the amphitheater is expected to open by Labor Day 2023. Plans for the project also include two luxury apartment towers, a parking lot, a distillery with a tasting room and a golf-style Top Practice.
The site is located northwest of State Highway 71 and the Southwest Parkway. Since the project was announced in October, it has met opposition from conservationists who say the development will endanger Barton Creek and its nature reserve.
The lawsuit says that due to the similarity between “Violet Crown Amphitheater” and “Violet Crown” with respect to the theater, Violet Crown has received numerous inquiries about the amphitheater from people who believe the company is the developer of the place.
Violet Crown said that due to the confusion and her existing markings, she sent IDM a cease and desist letter on November 16. Violet Crown said she received a response, but that it “was not substantial and that she simply acknowledged receipt of the letter.” The lawsuit states that Violet Crown did not receive a “substantial response” to its request that IDM cease all further use of its trademarks in connection with the proposed amphitheater and “as a result, Violet Crown was compelled to bring this legal action to protect their rights. “
The lawsuit sets out five claims for redress: federal trademark infringement, federal unfair competition, federal trademark dilution of the “Violet Crown” trademark, common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, and state trademark dilution and damage to the company’s reputation.
The lawsuit says that IDM’s use of “Violet Crown Amphitheater”, in addition to being allegedly trademark infringement, is likely to cause “confusion, deception and error” by leading people to believe that IDM’s products and services are a product of Violet Crown, are associated with the Company, or have the sponsorship, endorsement or endorsement of the Company. Violet Crown said it could damage her business reputation.
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