Guns N’ Roses, the well-known band featuring Axl Rose and Slash, is seeking an unspecified amount in damages in the lawsuit filed Dec. 1 in a federal court in Los Angeles.
Guns N’ Roses is one of the most iconic rock bands of the last few decades, having sold millions of albums and become world-renowned for songs such as “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “November Rain.”
Texas Guns And Roses is a Houston-based online store that sells guns, ammunition, related apparel and equipment and a small selection of flowers.
The California-based band, having apparently run out of patience after sending multiple cease-and-desist letters to the owner of the online store, has displayed an appetite for destroying the business with a similar name. Attorneys for Guns N’ Roses filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit earlier this month in Los Angeles, seeking an unspecified amount in damages and alleging the Texas-based store created its name and logo “for the purpose of confusing consumers into believing that it was connected or associated with, or licensed by, GNR.”
Court documents show the band asked Jersey Village Florist, LLC, which owns Texas Guns And Roses, to stop using its name and logo in a pair of cease-and-desist letters in 2020. Late in 2021, the band also petitioned the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the registration of the Houston business.
“Defendant has continued to use Defendant’s Marks and intentionally trade on GNR’s goodwill, prestige, and fame without GNR’s approval, license, or consent,” reads the Dec. 1 lawsuit. “This is particularly damaging to GNR given the nature of Defendant’s business. GNR, quite reasonably, does not want to be associated with Defendant, a firearms and weapons retailer. Furthermore, Defendant espouses political views related to the regulation and control of firearms and weapons on the website that may be polarizing to many U.S. consumers.”
Attorneys for both the rock band and the online store did not respond to requests for comment from Houston Public Media. Attempts to contact Texas Guns And Roses by phone, email and through the contact page on its website, texasgunsandroses.com, were unsuccessful as of the time of publication.
David L. Clark, a Houston attorney representing the online store, told City News Service in Southern California he thinks the lawsuit was filed because the petition to cancel the business’ 2016 trademark registration is likely to fail.
“This is an attempt to run up costs and burn us out,” Clark said, according to City News Service. “Our client sells metal safes for guns and flowers, and have a one-stop website and absolutely no one is confused. Nobody thinks we’re the band or there is some affiliation. We will be fighting back.”
Guns N’ Roses formed in Los Angeles in the mid-1980s and trademarked its name in the 1990s, according to the lawsuit, which says the band is incorporated as a California partnership, with lead singer Axl Rose, guitarist Saul Hudson (professionally known as Slash) and bassist Michael “Duff” McKagan serving as general partners. The group’s debut album in 1987, “Appetite for Destruction,” reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.
The band released several more albums in the late 1980s, 1990s and 2000s and was featured in the soundtrack for the 1991 film “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.” Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.
Texas Guns And Roses applied for a trademark in 2014 and received one in 2016, according to documents filed in the lawsuit. Its website, which includes background images of an American flag and bald eagle, advertises items such as handguns, rifles, shotguns, ammo, knives, gun-related accessories and equipment, storage safes and roses in four different colors.
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