top of page


  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

Battle of the Bands: Country Rapper Jelly Roll Sued in Trademark Infringement Showdown

Pennsylvania Wedding Band "Jellyroll" Sues Country Rapper "Jelly Roll" for Trademark Infringement

Jelly Roll trademark infringement


Kurt L. Titchenell, the owner of the Pennsylvania-based wedding band "Jellyroll," has filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against country rapper Jason DeFord, better known by his stage name "Jelly Roll." The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, alleges that DeFord's use of the name "Jelly Roll" is causing confusion and irreparable harm to Titchenell's business.

According to the complaint, Titchenell has been using the "Jellyroll" trademark since 1980 in connection with his musical entertainment services, which include live performances at weddings and other celebratory events throughout the Northeast United States. Titchenell's band has even performed twice at the White House for President George W. Bush and his family.

Download the Complaint Below
Jelly Roll Lawsuit
Download • 315KB

According to the complaint, the plaintiff, Kurt L. Titchenell, owns a registered trademark for "JELLYROLL" in connection with his musical entertainment services. Specifically, paragraph 6 of the complaint states:

"Plaintiff is presently the owner of U.S. service mark registration number 3,834,018, JELLYROLL® (the Mark) used in connection with the following services in international class 41: Entertainment in the nature of live performances by a musical band or group; entertainment services in the nature of live musical performances."

Furthermore, paragraph 7 mentions that Titchenell acquired the rights to the "JELLYROLL" mark and has maintained the registration, with the most recent renewal accepted by the USPTO on December 26, 2019.

In contrast, DeFord, born in 1984, claims that his mother referred to him as "Jelly Roll" as a child and that he began using the name professionally around 2010. DeFord's recent rise to fame has allegedly led to confusion in the marketplace, with searches for "Jellyroll" now primarily returning results related to the country rapper instead of Titchenell's band.

What Will The Plaintiff Need Prove?

The lawsuit alleges several counts against DeFord, including federal service mark infringement, dilution, and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, as well as state law claims of injury to business reputation and common law unfair competition. So, what does Titchenell need to prove to succeed in his trademark infringement case?

In general, a plaintiff in a trademark infringement lawsuit must demonstrate the following elements:

  • The plaintiff owns a valid, protectable trademark.

  • The defendant used the plaintiff's trademark (or a confusingly similar mark) in commerce without authorization.

  • The defendant's use of the mark is likely to cause confusion among consumers as to the source, sponsorship, or affiliation of the goods or services.

In this case, Titchenell will need to show that his "Jellyroll" trademark is valid and protectable, which seems likely given its long-standing use and federal registration. He will also need to prove that DeFord's use of "Jelly Roll" is causing actual confusion or is highly likely to cause confusion among consumers seeking live musical entertainment services.

If Titchenell succeeds in proving these elements, he may be entitled to injunctive relief, preventing DeFord from using the "Jelly Roll" name in connection with musical performances, as well as potential monetary damages.

You Be The Judge

Do you think the rising popularity of an artist with a similar name should override the rights of a local business that has been using the name for decades? Why or why not?


Contact us today to discuss your business or legal matter. Put our 20+ years of legal experience to work for you.


For detailed insights and legal assistance on topics discussed in this post, including litigation, contact the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont at our Bergen County Office. We're here to answer your questions and provide legal advice. Contact us at (201) 904-2211 or email us at

Interested in More Legal Insights?

Explore our range of resources on business and legal matters. Subscribe to our podcast and YouTube channel for a wealth of information covering various business and legal topics. For specific inquiries or to discuss your legal matter with an attorney from our team, please email me directly at or call at (201) 904-2211. Your questions are important to us, and we look forward to providing the answers you need.

Peter J. Lamont is a Top-Rated New Jersey Business Attorney

About Peter J. Lamont, Esq.

Peter J. Lamont is a nationally recognized attorney with significant experience in business, contract, litigation, and real estate law. With over two decades of legal practice, he has represented a wide array of businesses, including large international corporations. Peter is known for his practical legal and business advice, prioritizing efficient and cost-effective solutions for his clients.

Peter has an Avvo 10.0 Rating and has been acknowledged as one of America's Most Honored Lawyers since 2011. 201 Magainze and Lawyers of Distinction have also recognized him for being one of the top business and litigation attorneys in New Jersey. His commitment to his clients and the legal community is further evidenced by his active role as a speaker, lecturer, and published author in various legal and business publications.

As the founder of the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont, Peter brings his Wall Street experience and client-focused approach to New Jersey, offering personalized legal services that align with each client's unique needs and goals​.


DISCLAIMERS: The contents of this website and post are intended to convey general information only and not to provide legal advice or opinions. The contents of this website and the posting and viewing of the information on this website should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal or tax advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. Nothing on this website is an offer to represent you, and nothing on this website is intended to create an attorney‑client relationship. An attorney-client relationship may only be established through direct attorney‑to‑client communication that is confirmed by the execution of an engagement agreement.

As with any legal issue, it is important that you obtain competent legal counsel before making any decisions about how to respond to a subpoena or whether to challenge one - even if you believe that compliance is not required. Because each situation is different, it may be impossible for this article to address all issues raised by every situation encountered in responding to a subpoena. The information below can give you guidance regarding some common issues related to subpoenas, but you should consult with an attorney before taking any actions (or refraining from acts) based on these suggestions. Separately, this post will focus on New Jersey law. If you receive a subpoena in a state other than New Jersey, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney in your state, as certain rules differ in other states.

Disclaimer: Recognition by Legal Awards

The legal awards and recognitions mentioned above are not an endorsement or a guarantee of future performance. These honors reflect an attorney's past achievements and should not be considered as predictors of future results. They are not intended to compare one lawyer's services with other lawyers' services. The process for selecting an attorney for these awards can vary and may not include a review of the lawyer's competence in specific areas of practice. Potential clients should perform their own evaluation when seeking legal representation. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page