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Jeff Jarrett sues Impact Wrestling for copyright infringement

Jeff Jarrett sues Impact Wrestling for copyright infringement
Jeff Jarrett at the WWE Hall of Fame / pic by WWE

Impact Wrestling founder Jeff Jarrett is suing the company that now owns his former creation — Anthem Sports & Entertainment.

Way back in 2002, Jeff Jarrett and his father started a new wrestling company called TNA Wrestling, which over the years has morphed into Impact Wrestling.

However, along the way, Jarrett got financial backing from a company called Panda Energy International and the founder and CEO’s daughter Dixie Carter took over control from Jarrett, with the former WWE superstar leaving the company.

After leaving the company, Jeff Jarrett tried to start a new company called Global Force Wrestling. A few years later, Impact Wrestling inducted Jarrett into their Hall of Fame and started a partnership with GFW.

After a failed attempt by Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins to purchase Impact Wrestling in 2015, Anthem Sports & Entertainment stepped in and in 2016 purchased control of the company.

Corgan threatened to sue due to his loaning the company $2.7 million and Anthem settled with him.

Now, there is another lawsuit brewing against Anthem concerning Impact Wrestling. The suit filed on August 10 in Tennessee alleges the following (via Ringside News):

  • Violated state and federal trademark infringements in relation to GFE (Global Force Entertainment).
  • Violated Jeff Jarrett’s exclusive property rights to his own name, photograph, and other likeness.
  • That Anthem has used “a reproduction, counterfeit, copy, or colorable imitation of the GLOBAL FORCE WRESTLING and GFW trademarks” in commerce, therefore they are in violation of the Lanham Act, which prohibits trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and false advertising.

The Jeff Jarrett lawsuit against Impact Wrestling also accuses Anthem of “acts of unfair competition” by deceiving audiences into believing that GFE approved goods and services offered based on its likeness.

Jarrett also said that Anthem Sports is using Global Force Wrestling and GFW trademarks in both products and services, allegedly in violation of the Lanham Act. Finally, Jarrett said that this caused “customer confusion” and is in violation of Tennessee common law.

According to PWMania, Anthem Sports terminated Jeff Jarrett’s contract before the merger between GFW and Impact Wrestling could be completed and that GFE owns all GFW Amped content.

The Impact Wrestling website still offers GFW Amped content and is monetizing that content through streaming and DVD sales. The Jeff Jarrett lawsuit against Impact Wrestling is asking for three times the amount of profits or GFE damages — whichever is greater.

Shawn S. Lealos has been a freelance writer for 25 years, starting with magazines and newspapers before moving to the internet. He has been published... read more
Shawn S. Lealos

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