Gospel music groups go to court over hall of fame

Sunday, July 21, 2002

DETROIT -- Although they share a goal of celebrating and promoting gospel music, two groups are facing off in court over which has the right to the genre's hall of fame.

The Nashville, Tenn.-based Gospel Music Association, founded in 1964, each year names inductees to its Gospel Music Hall of Fame. It has sued to force the Detroit-based Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum, founded in 1995, to stop using the name.

The Hall of Fame & Museum is "knowingly using the Gospel Hall of Fame and Museum mark, which they know infringes upon and violates the rights of the Gospel Music Association," GMA said in the lawsuit.

But the Hall of Fame & Museum organization registered the federal trademark to "Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum." Founder David Gough said Wednesday he wants the GMA to give up the name.

"After investing extensive time and energy in building our name around the world, they want to benefit from using our well-recognized mark," Gough said.

While the Hall of Fame & Museum filed a counterclaim, the GMA is asking to cancel the trademark on the name. Earlier this week, a trial in U.S. District Court in Nashville was set for July 2003.

GMA spokeswoman Tricia Whitehead said the organization couldn't comment on pending litigation.

ON THE NET

  • Gospel Music Association Web site: www.gospelmusic.org

    Gospel Music Hall of Fame & Museum Web site: www.gmhf.org

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