A federal judge is scheduled to hear both sides of a copyright dispute deciding whether an East Tennessee town can have the same name as a popular song.
(WBIR-Knoxville) After hearing arguments for about an hour and a half over the battle to change Lake City to Rocky Top, a federal judge said he would issue his ruling at a later date.
All three sides in this matter had an opportunity to chime in. They included the House of Bryant, Lake City officials and the developers who are looking to bring an attraction to that Anderson County town.
The city and developers had questions as to what extent the House of Bryant had ownership of the name. They felt just because the House owned the rights to the song "Rocky Top" does not mean they have the trademark to everything else Rocky Top.
In return, the House of Bryant argued that if Lake City were to get the Rocky Top name it could do irreparable damage to the brand that family created. They also questioned whether an attraction in Lake City would even be built. During the injunction hearing, the House of Bryant said they did not want their name associated with what could be "a failed endeavor."
"This is just lake city enabling someone else to infringe on our trademarks and it's a problem for us," Triggs said.
But, Anderson County Commissioner Tim Isbel said he was still hopeful some type of understanding could be worked out between the parties.
"If Lake City is able to change it's name to Rocky Top, it can still be prosperous for both of us," he said.
There's no timetable as to when Judge Thomas Varlan will hand down a decision, but the House of Bryant is hopeful it could happen in a week.
Earlier this year, the Tennessee General Assembly approved the name change. At the end of April, Governor Bill Haslam then signed that bill into law.
If Varlan gives Lake City the opportunity to change its name, the town's city council would then have the final say on whether a switch should be made.