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Utah theme park sues Taylor Swift over trademark infringement

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Editor’s Note: New developments have occurred related to this story, click here for the latest.

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah (ABC4) – A Utah business owner is suing a pop star for trademark infringement.

Federal court documents filed in the Utah District Court show Ken Bretschneider, the chief executive officer of Evermore Park in Pleasant Grove, Utah, has filed a lawsuit against Taylor Swift over her latest album, ‘Evermore.’

Ken Bretschneider

Documents filed on Tuesday show 12 exhibits of evidence supporting Bretschneider’s case, including Google search results for Evermore, items of clothing with branding, and two different letters from Swift’s counsel.

In the declaration filing, Bretschneider says the Utah theme park “has invested approximately $37,000,000 into the creation and promotion of Evermore Park and the EVERMORE trademarks.” That includes expending funds in advertising and promoting, purchasing the EVERMORE.COM domain, and expending labor costs for advertising and promoting.

Since opening its doors in 2018, Bretschneider says the theme park has welcomed over 140,000 guests. ‘Willow’, one of the songs on Swift’s Evermore album, has garnered over 124 million streams on Spotify alone.

Evermore Park also has “commissioned the creation of two original music scores that Evermore sells under the EVERMORE trademark through a variety of outlets, such as Apple Music.”

You can see the full court document here:

Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.

The lawsuit includes documents from the United States Patent and Trademark Office showing Evermore Park’s trademarks for clothing and the amusement park.

According to the album cover for Swift’s Evermore, this album comes after the singer-songwriter “just kept writing [tales]” stemming from the previous album she released – folklore.

PHOTOS: Utah’s Evermore Park

  • Evermore Construction
  • EVERMORE CONSTRUCTION
  • Evermore
  • EVERMORE

Bretschneider has also included a cease and desist letter sent to Swift over her “pending applications including the EVERMORE trademark” dating back to mid-December 2020, just days after the album was released.

After the album was released, Andrea Measom, Evermore Park’s director of human resources says she was asked by guests “whether the Evermore Album was the result of a collaboration between Evermore and Taylor Swift or some other type of relationship.” Other Evermore Park staff says the web traffic on their site “spiked dramatically” when Swift’s album was released.

The suit continues, adding that before the album was released, Evermore Park’s website was in the top results of a Google search of ‘evermore.’ After the album was released, that is no longer the case.

Swift’s legal team says the claims of trademark infringement are baseless, adding that the addition of “Taylor Swift…Album” around Evermore make the trademark different, which is allowed under current U.S. law. They add that while the theme park frequently uses an all upper-case spelling of Evermore, the album uses all lower-case spelling.

In a letter to Evermore Park’s legal team, Swift’s legal team includes screengrabs of Twitter posts – that appear to have since been deleted – in which Evermore Park “have intentionally traded off and taken advantage of this alleged attention in a transparent attempt to try to create an association between your client and ours.”

Read that full letter below:

Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.

In a second letter, Swift’s legal team says “there is no basis for your client’s claim that the Swift Parties’ use of the term ‘evermore’ infringes any trademark rights it may have.”

Late Wednesday morning, a spokesperson for Swift shared a statement with ABC4, saying:

The fact is, this frivolous claim is coming from Ken Bretschneider, founder, and CEO of an experience park and according to Utah Business, “As of June 2020, at least five lawsuits have been filed against Bretschneider and the Evermore group by major construction companies like Sunroc, AGC Drywall and Construction, Geneva Rock, Mountain Point Landscaping, EME Mechanical, Kreativ Woodworks, and NFH Distributing (Beehive Brick and Stone).” The companies claim “they are owed between $28,000 and $400,000.” Utah Business says, “he owes millions of dollars in construction, mechanic, and landscaping fees to workers across the valley who have yet to be paid”… with “a collection of more than 20 construction liens on the Evermore property.” The true intent of this lawsuit should be obvious. 

Swift has faced other pushback over her songs, including ‘Shake It Off’ and, most recently, accusations about the ‘folklore’ logo being copied from a Black-owned business called The Folklore.

There are no future hearings related to this lawsuit at this time.

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