An American winery is currently locked in a legal battle with the estate of the late singer Prince over a collection of wine named Purple Rain, the NME reports.

The singer’s estate first sued L’uva Bella Winery in Ohio last summer, demanding the company stop using the Purple Rain trademark that was awarded in 2019. The estate argues that there is a “likelihood of confusion” and a “false suggestion of connection” to the singer who died in 2016.

Rolling Stone obtained a new filing that shows the winery has put forward a new defence claiming that Prince’s famed disdain for alcohol means buyers of the product would never link the Purple Rain collection to the singer or his legacy.

Sound track to the film

Purple Rain was the sixth studio album by Prince and released in June 1984, by Warner Bros. Records. It was also the sound track to the 1984 film of the same name. Total sales of the album stand at 25 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time and Rolling Stone ranked the album number eight on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Lawyers for L’uva Bella Winery wrote in a new motion filed with the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that the extent to which Prince was famous, he was equally as famous for his disdain of alcohol, and that in his lifetime, he never lent his name to any product or enterprise or endorsed or promoted any products, let alone those bearing the name ‘Purple Rain’.

Fans of Prince, they argue, who know about his knowledge and beliefs will therefore never associate alcohol-containing products with him.

Chance to proceed

In January this year, the singer’s estate asked the federal board to grant its cancellation request without a trial. L’uva’s lawyers said they deserved a chance to proceed through discovery.

Lawyers for Prince’s estate said in a statement that the estate protects the intellectual property the singer created in his lifetime. and this included his image and the trademark Purple Rain, which has strong associations with him.

They added that Purple Rain was his most famous song, album, tour and movie and that there was no doubt is signified ‘Prince’.

Dispute with a singer

In another unrelated case, the American musician and composer Morris Day is also involved in a dispute with the late singer’s estate, Far Out Magazine reports.

The singer and composer claims that the estate is stopping him from using the Morris Day and the Time brand name. The estate has issued a written report denying the claims, and saying it was “surprised and disappointed” to see his recent post and that it was open to working proactively with Morris to resolve the matter, though the information he shared was not entirely accurate.

Day’s team shared a copy of a letter they received in December with Billboard magazine. In the letter, they provide evidence supporting their claim that the estate’s attorneys did not want the singer to use Morris Day and the Time as a name, quoting an agreement made in 1982 that Prince’s company had the sole rights to the name.

The matter is ongoing.

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