A U.S. district judge has rejected country singer Kenny Chesney’s request for a nationwide ban on merchandise bootleggers outside his concerts.
Judge Leon Jordan said Chesney’s failure to show the court an “official” T-shirt as evidence was key in his refusal to grant the merchandise ban.
“This omission makes it impossible for the court to perform a complete comparison of the goods to determine the likelihood of confusion caused by the bootleg merchandise,” Jordan wrote in his opinion released Monday.
At a June hearing, the judge told Chesney’s attorney, John G. Jackson, to “bring me a T-shirt” when Jackson returned to court in July to argue for the ban. Jackson laughed at the comment, then brought T-shirts he said were bootleg merchandise but not an official shirt.
Chesney, 35, sought an injunction before his June 7 concert at the University of Tennessee, saying bootleggers were following his tour and selling merchandise outside the venues.
His lawyer argued the items were inferior and not sanctioned by his merchandising company, tricking fans and depriving the singer of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Jordan noted in his ruling there’s no proof that the bootleggers have ever been identified.