The Prince estate recently convinced the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to not grant Bang Energy a trademark for an energy drink line called “Purple Rain.”
The office ruled a few days ago that the phrase is “uniquely and unmistakably” associated with Prince's legacy among the general public. The office added in their ruling that consumers would make a connection to the product even if it had “no relation to the reason for the celebrity’s fame.”
The estate's lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, told Billboard, "Prince’s music, art and trademarks hold a special place in our society and culture. Purple Rain is a Prince mark and brand known worldwide. Please respect these unique assets or suffer at your own peril."
A separate case over a Purple Rain wine line is still in the courts. In that case, the wine makers have argued that consumers would not make a connection with Prince because he didn’t drink alcohol.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]