Bob Marley’s legacy is protected by Fifty-Six Hope Road Music, a company run by Marley’s wife and nine children.
The company is now sueing Richard Booker, Bob Marley’s half-brother in a Florida federal court. Allegedly, Booker has been using Bob Marley’s name and image for music festivals and other commercial activities.
Booker filed a trademark application in 2007 for the name “Mama Marley” for a wide range of products, from steamed cakes of smashed fish to low calorie coffee, but also for hotel, bar or restaurant services. The Marley Estate filed an opposition, claiming the trademark application would cause confusion and would dilute Marley’s IP rights.
While the opposition is still pending, Booker seems to own and operate the website bomarleymovement.com, and has been promoting an annual music festival in Miami, Florida, referring to it at times as the “Marley Fest”.
Since the last name of Booker is not Marley, he may have a hard time proofing legitimate commercial use. As a famous name like Bob Marley still brings in a lot of money, year after year, it is unlikely that the Marley Estate will back off. This will most definitely stir things up.