Kid Rock will remain Top Dog according to a federal appeals court, which found that the bark of his former business associates was worse than their bite.
The court ruled on Tuesday that trademark and copyright-infringement claims brought against the Detroit-bred artist should be dismissed, since his former business associates at Top Dog Records waited too long to file the lawsuit, according to The Associated Press.
The court upheld a February 2003 ruling by a lower court, which dismissed a suit brought by EB-Bran Productions Inc. The company had claimed it was entitled to half of Rock's earnings, based on a 1989 contract it signed with the singer which entered him into its corporation, Top Dog Records, with a 25 percent investment. EB-Bran said that Rock's use of the Top Dog logo on his merchandise constituted trademark and copyright infringement (see "Kid Rock's Ex-Partners Ask Judge To Determine Who's Top Dog").
Rock had sued Alvin Williams and Earl Blunt of EB-Bran in May 2001 to name the 1989 contract invalid and to trademark the label Top Dog Records himself, claiming sole ownership (see "Kid Rock Sues Ex-Associate Over Contract"). EB-Bran countersued.
The company's suit was dismissed when a U.S. district judge said that even if EB-Bran did obtain ownership of the trademark through the 1989 contract, it abandoned interest by failing to use that trademark for more than a decade.
The appeals court said on Tuesday that Rock wrote a letter to Williams and Blunt in December 1990 stating that he had no intention of working with them on his songs, and that "the plaintiffs have simply waited too long to bring their action," according to the AP.