The estate of reggae legend Bob Marley is suing the Louisiana-based fried chicken finger chain Raising Cane's (with 120+ locations ) over the use of the phrase "One Love," Spin reports. Raising Cane's uses "One Love" — the title of one of Marley's most famous songs — in their marketing materials, based on the premise that the company has "only have ONE LOVE – quality chicken finger meals!" as explained on the website. In the suit below, the Marley estate's company Fifty-Six Hope Road Music claims trademark infringement, false association, and trademark dilution, cancellation of the trademark registrations, common law trademark infringement, and intentional interference with advantageous business relations.
Interestingly, printed Raising Cane's ads that use the slogan show a registered trademark sign. According to a statement from Raising Cane's CEO Todd Graves reprinted by WFAB, Raising Cane's successfully trademarked the phrase "One Love" back in 2005.
Fifty-Six Hope Road also owns a trademark on "One Love" and, as Spin puts it, "Hope Road legally has the trademark to the phrase in certain circumstances, Cane's retains the right in others." The Marley's claim that their attempt to trademark the phrase "Marley One Love" (which they've been using for years) was denied by the government because of Raising Cane's trademark. And apparently Raising Cane's never consulted the Marley's on using the phrase in their ad materials. To make matters even more complicated, now the Marleys want to license the One Love trademark they have to a 500-seat restaurant opening in Alabama called Bob Marley's One Love Cafe, which comes into conflict with Raising Cane's trademark. Oof.
The suit was filed on December 6, and as of now it does not look like a settlement is in sight. In the statement below, Graves says he met with a member of the Marley family "in a good faith attempt to reach a resolution." He claims his most recent settlement offers were rejected, noting that he "looks forward to proving our position in court." Below, the claims and the statement from Graves:
Statement from Todd Graves, CEO Raising Cane's
Raising Cane's is a focused-menu restaurant concept serving customers quality chicken finger meals quickly and conveniently. Raising Cane's has used the ONE LOVE® mark in the Restaurant Services classification since as early as 2001 without conflict. We serve one thing -- quality chicken finger meals -- and strive to do it better than anyone else. It's our ONE LOVE.
Raising Cane's obtained a federal Trademark Registration for our ONE LOVE mark for use in the Restaurant Services classification from the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2005.
Raising Cane's denies the Marleys' allegations and will continue to defend our rights as we have done with the Marleys in related proceedings concerning the ONE LOVE mark before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board since 2010. I met with Cedella Marley in a good faith attempt to reach a resolution regarding the Marleys desire to enter the restaurant space. Negotiations continued beyond that meeting with the Marleys ultimately rejecting Raising Cane's last offer for settlement. Raising Cane's looks forward to proving our position in court, putting this matter behind us and continuing to pursue our ONE LOVE - serving our communities our quality chicken finger meals.
Founder, CEO, Fry Cook and Cashier
Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers