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Judge now wants to stop Rocky Top, TN merchandise | News

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Judge now wants to stop Rocky Top, TN merchandise

Developers and merchandisers who were hoping to cash in on Lake City's name change to Rocky Top could now face a new road block.

A judge who initially ruled against an injunction to keep the developers from selling merchandise has changed his mind, and he's now asking to get the case back.

Previous: Lake City name change one step closer to reality

Related: Home sweet home: Lake City changes name to Rocky Top

The 32-page legal opinion outlines a change of heart from U.S. District Judge Thomas Varlan. Back in May, Varlan ruled against an injunction from House of Bryant publications.

House of Bryant is suing the city now known as Rocky Top and some developers who want to build a theme park centered around U.T.'s unofficial fight song.

House of Bryant owns the rights to the song Rocky Top.

Six months ago, Varlan ruled the city and its developers can move forward with the name change and he ruled against the injunction.

Since then, officials inked a deal with Marc-Nelson Denim in East Knoxville to license and sell Rocky Top, TN merchandise.

Previous: Knoxville designer sews up Rocky Top TN merchandise deal

More: Song owners file new request to stop Rocky Top TN merchandise

House of Bryant filed an appeal, and now Varlan is asking for a remand, which essentially means he's asking the higher court to give the case back to him.

In his opinion, Varlan says the developers and merchandisers crossed a line they said they wouldn't. Varlan says they tried to trademark phrases like "Rocky Top" and "Home Sweet Home" for merchandise. Now he wants to get a temporary injunction that would prevent developers from making that merchandise.

Varlan will have to wait for the Court of Appeals' decision before he gets the case back in his courtroom.

The House of Bryant's attorney John Triggs said this was a big development for the House of Bryant and he hopes this will steer the case in a different direction.


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