The Las Vegas Review-Journal recently reported that Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the licensing company that controls the names and images of many celebrities, has sent cease-and-desist letters to several Elvis Presley-themed wedding chapels in Las Vegas. The letters order the chapels to stop using the singer’s name, likeness, voice, and other elements of his persona in their advertising, websites, ceremonies, names, logos, and merchandise.
According to the report, the Las Vegas wedding industry, which includes some 55 chapels, generates $2 billion a year, with Elvis-themed weddings making up a big part of that business. With marketing campaigns promoting Las Vegas as a wedding destination and seeking to establish the city as the wedding capital of the world, it is feared that this action could have a devasting impact on the Las Vegas wedding industry and the livelihoods of many.
While the May 19 letters demanded compliance within a week and threatened legal action, none has been forthcoming. It is anticipated that most chapels will comply or may try to negotiate licensing agreements with ABG.
For trivia buffs, Elvis Presley was born on January 8, 1935, rose to prominence as a singer and actor from 1953 to 1977, and died on August 16, 1977. He would be 87 years old if he were alive today.
While we can’t claim any expertise when it comes to Las Vegas weddings or Elvis Presley, we do know a lot about trademarks, cease-and-desist letters, and all manner of legal issues affecting businesses and individuals. If we can help, please call us at: 248.477.6300.
(Elvis has left the building.)