Strange Vs. Strainge

Powerhouse independent hip hop label Strange Music has filed suit against a new label with a similar name – Strainge Entertainment – for trademark infringement.

Tech N9ne
Chris Shonting
– Tech N9ne

The suit was filed Oct. 3 in a Kansas City district court by Missouri-based Strange Music, Inc., the label of Tech N9ne, against California-based Strainge Entertainment LLC alleging trademark infringement, unfair competition, and trademark dilution. The complaint claims the defendant “adopted the Strainge marks egregiously, willfully, and intentionally to try to capitalize on Strange Music’s notoriety, goodwill, and reputation in the music industry.”

Strange’s filing describes the rise of the company and its star Tech N9ne, and how the company grew to record $20 million in annual combined record and merchandise sales after developing “extensive valuable goodwill” by providing quality music and consistently delivering excellent live shows while avoiding pitfalls of violence and unreliability associated with early hip hop labels.

The suit goes on to claim that when Elliot Grainge, son of Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, founded Strainge Entertainment in 2016, he “wrongfully adopted marks confusingly and deceptively similar to the Strange Marks, without permission or other authorization from Strange Music.” Strainge is partnered with Caroline and Universal Music Group, according to the suit.

A similarly named hip hop label that will/does not deliver the same quality products will damage Strange’s credibility with promoters and retailers the suit claims.

The complaint also details examples of online conversations in which fans were confused as to whether Strainge artist Trippie Redd was signed to the older, more established Strange.

The plaintiffs seek to prevent the newcomer from ever using similar mark and compensation for losses, damages, legal fees and ill-gotten profits.

Neither Strange or Strainge provided additional comment for the story at press time.