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Spankox Sued By EPE

February 06, 2011 | Music

Elvis Presley may or may not be dead, but his intellectual property portfolio goes marching on. Elvis Presley Enterprises v Carollo ("Spankox" - trading as Everness) is a decision of Sir William Blackburne, a retired judge of the High Court, England and Wales. Yesterday he was asked by EPE to give a summary judgment on a claim for trade mark infringement, passing off and breach of contract against Carollo, who was making and selling albums that carried its marks.
"Spankox" (Agostino Carollo) has previously released Elvis REMIX albums that have been endorsed by EPE.
The background is that EPE (a US corporation) holds several Community trade marks relating to the great man's name. Carollo, a former licensee of EPE's intellectual properties in respect of various items of Elvis memorabilia, asked permission to make a new Elvis Remix album which EPE refused. Undeterred by this trifling setback, Carollo carried on making and selling the album in the UK. Reassuringly for his customers, the album and its artwork bore EPE's marks and
signature hologram, acknowledging that they belonged to EPE.
EPE sued Carollo in England and Wales. Carollo wrote to the court to dispute its jurisdiction, also arguing that he had a valid contract with EPE to make and sell the album. EPE stood its ground, also stating that it had built up significant goodwill in its trade marks and logos to the extent that a substantial body of the public, upon seeing those marks and logos, would believe those goods or services to be those of EPE and its lawful licensees.
Sir William Blackburne had no difficulty in granting summary judgment in favour of EPE. While Carollo incorrectly disputed the court's jurisdiction - he also did not offer any proof of his entitlement to use EPE's intellectual property, so he was unlikely to emerge victorious from this little spat.


Source:Elvis Information Network
Lex wrote on February 06, 2011
It was about time this parasite ruining Elvis' music has no value added anyhow. Strange EPE ever supported him, but then again, they support imposters too and I don't know which one is worse.
Jerome wrote on February 07, 2011
just leave the fellow aloen! EPE just don't recognize true artistry..
Brian Quinn wrote on February 07, 2011
Looks like he is not the only one: Just found this also. Unfortunately it does not state what Bud Glass Productions are being sued for. Lawsuit Details RFC Case Number: T-E11-50B Court Case Number: 4:11-cv-00050-SPM -WCS File Date: Wednesday, February 02, 2011 Plaintiff: Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. Plaintiff Counsel: Defendant: Bud Glass Productions Cause: 15:1114 Trademark Infringement Court: Florida Northern District Court Judge: Chief Judge Stephan P. Mickle Referred To: Magistrate Judge William C. Sherrill, Jr.
Peter @ ElvisMatters wrote on February 07, 2011
Somehow you just don't mess with Christmas!
RobIreland wrote on February 07, 2011
Never liked Spankys mixes anyway ! Cringe worthy ! I do like the Viva mixes tho ... very funky !
paulreno wrote on February 07, 2011
I thought some of their remixes were okay. I agree with snowplow - I don't think it's a problem when the clubs spin an Elvis record and it get's people on the dance floor dancing to Elvis. I didn't like some of the 'Viva' remixes. Especially "Burning Love" which they destroyed.
Tony C wrote on February 08, 2011
It's all really just down to copyright infringement due to lack to permission rather than whether the finished product is good or bad. I think the internet age and the ability to share files quickly and without charge has made some think that they can do just what they like with Elvis' material.
Spankox wrote on February 09, 2011
First of all I'd like to say that I never infringed anything. On the contrary, I've been doing quite a lot for Elvis Presley and his Estate. For those who don't know, Elvis Presley Enterprises and Sony Music have been selling since 2008 my Elvis Presley remixed songs and they largely benefited by the fact that I've brought Elvis back to the top of the International record sales charts, introducing Elvis Presley to a whole new generation and to millions of new fans worldwide. Also the promotional value of my work for Elvis Presley and Graceland has been huge. My "Re:Versions" album was in 2008 the first official Elvis Presley remix album in history. It was praised by the original Presley's producers like Mike Stoller and band mates like DJ Fontana and I was called by EPE to Graceland to present my work to thousands of Elvis fans. When last summer this Claim was notified to me I was already working on the new remix of "Fever" and on the forthcoming Elvis Presley "Re:Volution" album, so it felt like a friend had stabbed me in the back. Having said this, I'm not accepting this ruling and I'm already working to ask the Court to discharge it because I think it is not correct. In primis Field Fisher Waterhouse (EPE's lawyers) didn't follow the compulsory pre-action protocol. They filed the Claim out of nowhere, without even trying to contact me with one single letter, accusing me of infringing EPE's copyright when they instead knew that I didn't infringe anything. They also chose the wrong jurisdiction (it should be Italy, where I'm based, not UK) and asked to the Court to set the hearing in London exactly in the days when, as I wrote them, I couldn't have attended it because I was busy for shows in Italy. In Italy this would not be acceptable and I'm surprised that this can happen in the UK. I'm also surprised that the judge didn't consider all this nor my lawful request (supported by evidence) of rejecting the jurisdiction because I live in Italy, not in the UK, and the fact that I have valid agreements in place with EPE, which were completely ignored. Anyway I think the biggest problem to solve now remains to Elvis Presley Enterprises and their lawyers Field Fisher Waterhouse. In fact I was suspecting that behind this Claim there was something else: my relationship with EPE had been fantastic so I couldn't explain this sudden Claim. So I investigated and I found out that they were working on a remix album entitled "Viva Elvis", that I think was largely inspired by my "Re:Versions"; it also included some of the same songs that I remixed and were included in "Re:Versions" and "Re:Mixes". Later I found that they had been infringing my own intellectual property and copyright using without any authorization my own original slogan "Elvis as you've never heard him before", created by me and used since 2008 for the promotion and sale of my Elvis Presley "Re:Versions" album (the first historical official Elvis Presley's remix album, also released by Sony in the UK), for the promotion and sale of their "Viva Elvis" album in the UK and worldwide. This has been obviously causing a big damage to me and also amounts to passing off. I'm now waiting to hear back from EPE's lawyers to know if they prefer to set this matter amicably or not. Ago Carollo Spankox is a respected composer, producer and DJ from Italy who created many international Top Hits. With JXL and Paul Oakenfold he's one of the only three official Elvis Presley's remixers in history. With his remix of "Baby Let's Play House" he brought Elvis back to the top of the international charts in 2008. He then went on to produce "Re:Versions", the first official Elvis Presley's remix album. With this album and the follow ups, Elvis Presley "Re:Mixes" and "Christmas Remixes", Ago Carollo Spankox introduced Elvis to a whole new generation of fans. His new single "So True", released as AGO, is this week the highest new entry in the Billboard USA Dance Radio Airplay Chart.
Harvey Alexander wrote on February 10, 2011
Talk about blowing your own trumpet and talking rubbish! You've done absolutely nothing to enhance Elvis' legacy, Mr. Spankox. Quite the reverse. All you've done is ruined his original recordings by messing about with a computer. Hope you get everything that's coming to you.
Lex wrote on February 10, 2011
Amen Harvey!
Jina Sexton wrote on February 11, 2011
Love Spankox and his Elvis Presley remix albums!!! Bought all of them!