Business & Lobbying

Medieval Times sues its worker union, saying name violates its trademark 

Members of the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament
Getty Images
Members of the Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament float participate in the 127th Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

The Texas-based dinner theater chain Medieval Times on Thursday filed a trademark infringement suit in federal court against its own employees’ union. 

Medieval Times, which operates 10 knights-and-jousting-themed locations across the U.S., argued in the filing that the American Guild of Variety Artists, which represents the workers, coopted the entertainment company’s brand when employees dubbed themselves the “Medieval Times Performers United.” 

The company argues in the suit that the union name creates “consumer confusion” by incorporating the company name in the label, misleading potential customers to assume that the union is “officially affiliated with Medieval Times.” 

The suit also alleges that the union logo, which features an animated castle overlaid on a raised fist and what the plaintiffs called “old script style text” infringes on Medieval Times’ branding and “middle ages-themed décor, which are clearly meant to evoke Medieval Times’ unique image.” 

Medieval Times Performers United and the American Guild of Variety Artists in a joint statement called the lawsuit “frivolous” and a “brazen violation of the National Labor Relations Act.”

“It is a grotesque attempt to retaliate against workers for exercising their legally protected right to form a union and bargain collectively. But it will fail,” the union said.

Unions that make use of their company’s name are fairly common, such as Starbucks Workers United.

–Updated on Oct. 17 at 10:07 a.m.

Tags employees Medieval Times trademark trademark infringement Union workers' union
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