On Monday, the National Academy of Recording Arts &
Sciences (The Academy) accused the Black Essence Grammy Awards (BEGA) of
trademark infringement. Despite The Academy's efforts and demands, BEGA formed as
a Michigan non-stock corporation, thereby incorporating Grammy/Grammy Awards into
its corporate name.
According to the complaint, BEGA is an awards ceremony that honors gospel musicians,
dancers, authors, and others with awards, cash, scholarships, and other prizes.
Alleged sponsors include McDonalds and Cisco, with event promotions appearing on
websites and social media outlets. October 6, 2012 is listed as the date of the
next BEGA show.
The Academy filed suit in the Western District of Michigan,
alleging that BEGA has willfully appropriated the Academy's registered
trademarks. The Academy owns several Grammy trademarks, including Grammy,
Grammy Awards, and Grammy Salute to Gospel Music. BEGA is accused of misleading
the public into believing that the gospel awards show is affiliated with or sanctioned
by The Academy.
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