UPDATE: Kid Rock has changed the name of his current trek from the "Greatest Show on Earth Tour" to the "American Rock N Roll Tour" following a trademark infringement lawsuit. "While I firmly believe that I am entitled under the First Amendment to name my Tour after my song," Rock said in a declaration submitted to the court. "I have changed the Tour name because I do not want this lawsuit to distract me or my fans from focusing on what is important in my upcoming Tour—my music." However, a lawyer for Feld Entertainment told Amplify the rights holders still plan to pursue legal action despite the name change.
Live Nation is also named in the federal trademark dilution lawsuit, filed Friday at U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. The lawsuit claims that Rock and Live Nation were not authorized to use the now-dormant circus' well-known slogan for the 2018 trek. Live Nation does not comment on any pending litigation.
"This historic trademark has been an important part of Ringling Bros. for the past century, and it is recognized as a trusted and iconic brand of family-friendly entertainment. The Greatest Show On Earth continues to live on and will do so well into the future. We have no intention of surrendering the trademark or allowing it to be tarnished," Feld Entertainment Chairman and CEO Kenneth Feld said in a statement.
A representative for Rock did not respond to Rolling Stone's request for comment. At press time, Rock's Twitter page still trumpets the upcoming "Greatest Show on Earth Tour 2018," a trek in support of the rocker's new LP Sweet Southern Sugar.
"We have authorized licensees for 'Ringling Bros.' and 'The Greatest Show on Earth,' but Kid Rock is not one of them," Feld Entertainment general counsel Lisa Joiner said in a statement. "Feld Entertainment was not contacted by Kid Rock (or anybody else on his behalf) regarding his use of Feld Entertainment’s trademark."
Feld Entertainment argues in its lawsuit that the "Greatest Show on Earth" slogan is a "celebrated and valuable" trademark, which has been licensed to companies like Chick-Fil-A and Metro PCS, Reuters reports.
The lawsuit seeks the immediate discontinuation of Rock's use of the slogan, profits derived from merchandise bearing the slogan and unspecified damages.
Rock's Greatest Show on Earth Tour kicks off December 31st in Kansas City and currently runs until mid-April.