The Purple Rain Wine Controversy, Explained

While Prince’s estate argues the winery is unfairly profiting from the renowned musician’s most successful work, L’uva Bella claimed in a recent court filing that there could be no confusion over the brand’s affiliation for a unusual reason: Prince did not drink alcohol.

“Prince was a teetotaler who despised alcohol,” the winery wrote in his court filing, per Food & Wine. “Fans of Prince, knowing his beliefs and opinions, would never associate a product containing alcohol with the artist.”

NME reports that the winery also noted in the filing that “Prince never lent his name to any product or company during his lifetime, nor endorsed or promoted any product, let alone products bearing the name. “Purple Rain”.”

Despite this argument and its reliance on wine buyers’ alleged knowledge of a deceased rocker’s business and drinking practices, the brand itself appears to contradict the claim in its own promotional materials. The L’uva Bella website marketing Purple Rain brand wine describes the drink as a “little red wine,” something that could be seen as a sly reference to Prince’s 1982 hit “Little Red Corvette.”

Attorneys for Prince’s estate in January requested that the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board remove the trademark without a trial. A decision is expected in the coming months. Meanwhile, L’uva Bella defiantly announced plans to continue sales of the brand and even expand the line to include sangria and rosé varieties.

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