PLEASANT GROVE, Utah – A homegrown Utah theme park has sued a multiplatinum-recording artist for trademark infringement rather than shake it off.
Evermore Park alleged in the federal suit filed Tuesday in Salt Lake City that megastar Taylor Swift borrowed from the whimsical attraction’s own marketing efforts to promote her December 2020 release, “Evermore,” the Deseret News reported.
According to the newspaper, the Pleasant Grove theme park opened three years ago, billing itself as a first-of-its-kind fantasy world, awash with witches, pirates, knights and the like. Founder and CEO Ken Bretschneider contended in the suit that not only did promotion of Swift’s latest album crush the park’s online presence by stirring “actual confusion” between the two concepts, but that the performer’s attorneys dismissed prior legal claims challenging the overlap on the assumption that financial hardship created by the COVID-19 pandemic would discourage the attraction from pursuing a costly legal remedy, the outlet reported.
“It doesn’t matter who comes and does something: You have to be proactive, and you have to protect it or you lose it,” Bretschneider told KUTV, noting his brand is branching out into products such as books, TV shows and albums of its own.
In turn, he said he owns four trademarks on the word “evermore” relative to merchandise and live performance, the TV station reported.
Specifically, Bretschneider’s suit seeks $2 million in damages for each type of Swift’s “Evermore” merchandise the park considers counterfeit, including cloth patches, plastic ornaments and purses, the Deseret News reported.
In an email to KUTV, Swift spokesperson Tree Paine cited reporting by Utah Business that Evermore Park faces “financial ruin” after failing to pay contractors, making the “true intent” of the lawsuit “obvious.”
“The companies claim ‘they are owed between $28,000 and $400,000.’ Utah Business says, ‘(Bretschneider) owes millions of dollars in construction, mechanic and landscaping fees to workers across the valley who have yet to be paid’ … with ‘a collection of more than 20 construction liens on the Evermore property,’” Paine wrote in the email.
Meanwhile, Swift attorney Douglas Baldridge countered Bretschneider’s claims, writing that the singer’s website “does not sell small dragon eggs, guild patches, or small dragon mounts, and nothing could be remotely characterized as such,” the Deseret News reported.