Coachella music festival sues west Africa's Afrochella event over name
LOS ANGELES - Lawyers for the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival are suing a similarly named event in West Africa for alleged trademark infringement, according to court papers obtained Thursday.
The suit filed in Los Angeles federal court late Wednesday alleges that Afrochella Ltd., which promotes an annual multi-day music and arts event in Ghana, is doing business under a name that is "confusingly similar" to the Coachella trademark.
The organizers of the popular Coachella festival are also pursuing cybersquatting claims against Afrochella Ltd. for use of the afrochella.com domain name.
An exhibit attached to the complaint shows that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied a trademark application for Afrochella four years ago due to an overly broad description of the event. The office also suggested that "a prior-filed pending application may present a bar to registration of applicant's mark."
An Afrochella representative could not immediately be reached for comment.
Coachella's organizers have filed numerous lawsuits over alleged trademark infringement regarding the use of "chella." Most recently, the music festival agreed to settle a suit against Live Nation Entertainment Inc. for promoting the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians' "Coachella Day One 22" concert. Terms of the settlement were not made public.