A California judge has dismissed a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Guns N’ Roses against a store called Texas Guns and Roses that sells — you guessed it — guns and roses.
In a lawsuit filed last year, Guns N’ Roses argued that a retailer in Texas that sells guns and roses — aptly named Texas Guns and Roses — was named “confusingly similar” to the band, causing “irreparable damage” to their brand, thus infringing upon their Guns N’ Roses trademark.
Among the chief concerns for the band was that they would be falsely associated with the sale of guns and gun control debates. That said, Texas Guns and Roses successfully registered its own trademark in 2016 — a trademark the band confirmed they were aware of and had been seeking to have canceled while sending cease and desist letters to the store.
But because the band’s lawsuit was filed in California, where the Texas Guns and Roses store does not operate, it was simple for the retailer to file a motion for dismissal on the grounds of jurisdiction. That motion was filed last month, and a judge granted it earlier this week.
“Defendant does not own any buildings or operate any physical stores in the state of California,” writes the judge, “has never been licensed or registered to conduct business in the state of California, (and) has never employed anyone residing in the state of California.”
Further, it “does not maintain any California-based bank accounts within the state of California, has never directed any advertisements to the state of California, and does not knowingly work with vendors residing or conducting business in California.” You get the picture.
While the shop does conduct business online, and the retailer’s website identifies which guns it sells comply with gun laws in California (and other states), “notably, none of defendant’s sales through (its) website or in conjunction with the Texas Guns and Roses marks have been made to any residents or customers located in the state of California.”
Unless Guns N’ Roses files a lawsuit in the state of Texas, where Texas Guns and Roses is located and operates, the retailer will continue to be free to sell both guns and roses under the name Texas Guns and Roses.