Kid Rock is being sued by a circus

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Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has filed a federal lawsuit in Florida against Robert James Ritchie, better known by his stage name Kid Rock, over the name of his current "Greatest Show on Earth Tour".

In May, Feld Entertainment ended its storied Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus show in NY after almost 150 years of showcasing animals, clowns and acrobats to millions.

The company, in the lawsuit filed on Friday in USA district court in Tampa, charged trademark dilution and infringement, unfair competition, injury to business reputation and unjust enrichment.

According to a statement from Feld Entertainment's lawyer, the company has licensed "The Greatest Show on Earth" trademark for outside use in the past, but Kid Rock apparently did not obtain one of those licenses. Still, "The Greatest Show on Earth" trademark earns Feld Entertainment more than $50 million a year, according to the lawsuit.

"The words, "greatest show on earth" are common, descriptive and used in a non-trademark fashion", attorney Seth Miller wrote in the letter. "We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished", said Kenneth Feld, Chairman and CEO of Feld Entertainment.

The company said it had contacted Kid Rock and Live Nation repeatedly to ask that they stop using the slogan but was ignored.


Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's lawsuit is seeking a restraining order to keep Kid Rock from using the phrase "The Greatest Show on Earth" during his tour and deliver "all catalogs, signs, displays, labels, brochures, videos, images, merchandise (and) advertising and promotional material" to the court until the case is decided.

Rock's "Greatest Show on Earth" tour will kick off on December 31, New Year's Eve, in Kansas City. Other companies which have licensed their names or trademarks include Chick-fil-A, Easterseals and MetroPCS.

Live Nation, which was also named in the lawsuit, refused to comment on pending investigations, Rolling Stone notes.

The tour is meant to promote his new album, Sweet Southern Sugar, which was released in 2017.

The 150-year-old circus staged their final performance in May after months of declining sales following claims by activists that the exhaustive transport and forced performance of the animals constituted abuse.

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