Utah fantasy theme park Evermore filed a lawsuit against singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on Tuesday, accusing her of trademark infringement. According to the complaint, the title of the popular musician’s 2020 album “evermore” conflicts with the theme park’s trademark rights and has resulted in “actual confusion” online.
Attorneys for Swift say the allegations of trademark infringement are “baseless” and that they refuse to comply with a cease and desist letter that Evermore Park sent to Swift on Dec. 18.
Evermore, a Pleasant Grove attraction where guests are “immersed in a fantasy European hamlet of imagination,” according to the park’s website, was created and founded by CEO Ken Bretschneider in 2018 and features costumed actors and performers.
Like many other entertainment-centric businesses, Evermore has struggled throughout the pandemic. Bretschneider tweeted on Jan. 17 that “Evermore is not out of businesses, but 2020 (Covid) made for a very hard year.”
Evermore is not out of business, but 2020 (Covid) made for a very hard year. We do care despite the few that are saying otherwise. We had to deal with real financial issues and continue to put our heart and soul and everything we have into this dream. Hoping for a better 2021.
— Ken Bretschneider (@CEOEvermore) January 18, 2021
For Swift, however, 2020 could be described as a momentous year. To the delight of her many fans, she released two surprise albums: Grammy-nominated “folklore” in July, along with its “sister album,” “evermore,” on Dec. 11.
The day after the release of “evermore” is when the confusion started for the theme park, says Andrea Measom, director of human resources for Evermore, in court documents. After the release of Swift’s album, “guests at Evermore Park asked me whether the Evermore album was the result of a collaboration between Evermore and Taylor Swift or some other type of relationship,” Measom said.
Tourism website Visit Utah tweeted about the Evermore name the day before the album’s release, saying, “The first is #evermore, the new Taylor Swift album. The second is @EvermorePark, the immersive storytelling theme park in Pleasant Grove, Utah. Know the difference.”
The first is #evermore, the new Taylor Swift album. The second is @EvermorePark, the immersive storytelling theme park in Pleasant Grove, Utah.
— Visit Utah (@VisitUtah) December 10, 2020
In court documents, Bretschneider says that after Dec. 11, 2020, search results for Evermore Park were pushed down on Google.com by content related to Swift’s new album. And he says Swift’s use of the “Evermore” title infringes on the park’s merchandise designs as well as album covers for its original soundtracks.
Swift’s attorneys disagree. In court documents, they say that “the Swift Parties have consistently stylized references to the new album in a way that is entirely distinct” from Evermore Park’s branding. They add that TaylorSwift.com “does not sell small dragon eggs, guild patches, or small dragon mounts, and nothing could be remotely characterized as such.”