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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Intellectual Property Law
Satisfied Customers: 37971
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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Hello, I believe I may be in need of some legal advice. Last

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Hello, I believe I may be in need of some legal advice.

Last week I started a crowdfunding campaign for a new play titled "Circus Girl: An American Epic." Earlier this week I received a cease and desist letter from a law firm in L.A. claiming their client has trademark rights over 'American Epic.'

Of course I had no idea that 'American Epic' was trademarked.

I would like to keep the title as is, Epic refers to the genre of theatre and America is the location.

This clients use of American Epic is completely different.

Also, since the crowdfunding campaign has already started I would have to cancel it potentially losing funds for this production.

I have never had to deal with legal matters in this way and I am not sure how to deal with this.

I appreciate any thoughts on the matter.

Thank you for your time.
Hello,

I don't believe that the trademark claimant can possibly enforce its rights against you. The term, "An American Epic," is simply too generic to sustain a trademark. However, if the claimant actually sues you, you could find yourself having to pay out a large amount of legal defense fees, which could bankrupt you, even if you were to prevail.

Given that circumstances, you may need to find an artists legal aid organization that assists in defending against unreasonable intellectual property rights actions.

The only organization of which I'm aware is found at this link. You may want to give them a call, because they undoubtedly have lawyers in the Southern California who may be able to assist you.

Hope this helps.
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