PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Utah fantasy theme park Evermore filed a lawsuit against singer-songwriter Taylor Swift on Tuesday, accusing her of trademark infringement.
The enchanting theme park in Pleasant Grove started years before, out of CEO Ken Bretschneider’s house.
“In 2013, in two nights we almost had 11,000 people come through our house,” said Breschneider.
That’s when Bretschneider came up with the idea of turning two days of magic into a year-round theme park, with hopes to create digital experiences as well.
“We spent the money on the domain and the name, and then we started on the whole concept of the park,” said Bretschneider.
Construction plans soon went over budget and Bretschneider said they ran into financial trouble and they couldn’t finish building the park, but tried to open anyway.
In 2020, the pandemic squandered any of their hopes and they even created a GoFundMe.
“We tried not to do the easy thing, which is to declare bankruptcy and walk away from it,” said Bretschneider.
In mid-December Taylor Swift released a new album under the name of “evermore” and with it merchandise under the same name Bretschneider said they used for their company.
“We’re protecting our brands,” said Bretschneider, regarding the lawsuit they filed against Swift. “We built brands not just to build a park but to do books, to start doing games, to start doing albums.”
According to the complaint, the title of the popular musician’s 2020 album “evermore” conflicts with the theme park’s trademark rights and has resulted in “actual confusion” online, The Salt Lake Tribune reports.
Attorneys for Swift say the allegations of trademark infringement are “baseless” and that they refuse to comply with a cease and desist letter that Evermore Park sent to Swift on Dec. 18.
Steven Rinehart, a patent and trademark attorney in Salt Lake City has been in the business for 14 years.
“There’s a common misconception out there that when you have a trademark, you have the exclusive right to use that trademark in all industries,” said Rinehart.
There are differences in use, Rinehart said, between Swift’s use of Evermore and Bretschneider’s that may be a key factor when a judge reviews the lawsuit.
“While the complaint is heavy on facts, it’s light on legal allegations,” said Rinehart. “Evermore is a generic term; does it describe the goods or services of Taylor Swift or of the amusement park?”
Bretschneider claims it does.
“We’re proud of what we built, and we put a lot of investment into it,” said Bretschneider. “We don’t want people to take advantage of it.”
FOX 13 did not hear back from Swift and her representatives.