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Philadelphia Wedding Band Jellyroll Drops Lawsuit Against Singer Jelly Roll

Seems like everybody’s walking away happy. Over the past couple of years, Jelly Roll has skyrocketed to become one of the biggest names in country music. His outgoing personality, his four #1 singles so far, and his raw, authentic openness about not only his past but the struggles he continues to deal with, have made him somebody who’s easy to root for and one of the most likeable figures in country music.

But one wedding band named “Jellyroll” out of Philadelphia claimed that his rise to prominence has been bad for business. Founder of “Philly’s favorite wedding band,” Kurt Titchenell, filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging that his band has been negatively impacted by Jelly Roll’s fame and that he’s infringing on a trademark filed back in 2010.

Before taking legal action, the group made a statement on Instagram back in December, which reads in part: “We have become aware of, and you may have heard of, another ‘Jelly Roll’, who has recently gained some fame in the country music scene – Jason DeFord, the Nashville area crossover singer songwriter. It’s imperative that we avoid confusion for our band that has been performing as JELLYROLL® for over 40 years. Therefore, we have an obligation to inform the public that Mr. DeFord performing as “Jelly Roll” is misleading, and an infringement on our band’s JELLYROLL® trademark. We have run into issues with our social media accounts, search engine optimization, Google Ads, as well as overall brand recognition. The related promotion of his performance at the popular local Philadelphia Jingle Ball has caused confusion within our fan base resulting in multiple inquiries requesting information on the event. This is to clarify that the original JELLYROLL® is not part of this event.”

And in their lawsuit, the group claimed that Jelly Roll (whose real name is Jason DeFord) caused confusion for fans and potential customers of the wedding band: “Prior to the Defendant’s recent rise in notoriety, a search of the name of Jellyroll… returned references to the Plaintiff. Now, any such search on Google returns multiple references to Defendant, perhaps as many as 18-20 references before any reference to Plaintiff’s entertainment dance band known as Jellyroll can be found.”

And look, I get it. I know a little bit about search engine optimization, so it’s gotta be frustrating when someone tries to Google your wedding band to get in touch with you and all that comes up is another guy who’s become a superstar. But Jelly Roll has explained the origin of his name, which he’s been using commercially since 2003 when he started releasing rap albums, as a childhood nickname given to him by his mother.

The whole thing seemed pretty fruitless to begin with (there was no way Jelly Roll was going to have to change his name because of this wedding band out of Philly). And it seems like both sides have reached an agreement to go their separate ways and keep using their own respective Jelly Roll/Jellyroll names.

In a statement on Instagram, the wedding band announced that they have “reached an amicable agreement” and dropped their lawsuit against the country superstar: “The dispute with Jason Bradley DeFord, aka Jelly Roll, has been resolved, and the legal action has been withdrawn. We look forward to our continued use of the name, Jellyroll Band, in connection with our party band business.”

Of course the terms of the settlement aren’t public, but this screams “he paid us to go away.” Regardless, the band has dropped the lawsuit, everybody gets to be Jelly Roll (or Jellyroll), and it seems that everybody walks away happy.

Source: Whiskey Riff, Philadelphia Inquirer,