(AllHipHop News) A California federal judge ruled that Twentieth Century Fox Television can keep the name "Empire" for its popular music drama. Fox filed a declaratory suit against San Francisco based Empire Distribution, and the record label/publishing company then filed a counter suit against the network.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the judge sided with Fox on the case because the corporation is protected by the First Amendment to name its series and Empire Distribution's claims that consumers could be confused by the matching names was less important than Constitutional rights.
"The word 'Empire' is clearly relevant to Fox's work because the Empire Series tells the story of characters struggling for literal control over an entertainment company called 'Empire Enterprises,' and figurative control over the vast 'empire' that Lucious Lyon has built. Additionally, the Empire Series is set in New York, the Empire State," wrote U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson.
Anderson added, "Moreover, it would be a perverse result if Fox's use of 'Empire' would be protected if Fox had claimed that the Empire Series was in some minimal way a commentary on Empire Distribution, but the use would not be protected if, as is the case here, Fox had disclaimed any such use."
Empire Distribution has worked with Kendrick Lamar, Cam’ron, Too $hort, T.I., The Game, and Rich Homie Quan. The company has recently released projects by Tyga, Daz & Snoop Dogg, Anderson .Paak, and Freddie Gibbs.