The Prince Estate of the late artist Prince (or: The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, or: The Sign) won a case in the US, successfully barring an energy drink company to trademark “Purple Rain”.
The company, Bang Energy, applied for the name Purple Rain for ‘energy drinks, dietary supplements, and sports beverages’. The decision stated that the phrase “uniquely and unmistakably” belongs to the late musician. “Consumers encountering applicant’s mark, when used in connection with applicant’s goods, will presume a connection between ‘Purple Rain’ and Prince,” said one judge during the ruling.
During the case, the Prince Estate submitted a survey that asked participants what “comes to mind” when they saw the phrase “Purple Rain.” Roughly 63% responded with “Prince”.
“Purple Rain” will remain the exclusive (intellectual) property of the late artist’s heirs.