Judge ready to stop developers from using Rocky Top name for merchandise, commerce

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NASHVILLE, Tennessee — An East Tennessee judge has said he is ready to stop developers in the newly minted town of Rocky Top, Tennessee, from using the Rocky Top name on merchandise and in commerce, at least temporarily.

The former coal mining town of Lake City changed its name to Rocky Top in June on the promise that developers would build a multimillion-dollar tourist complex there.

House of Bryant Publications owns the rights to the song "Rocky Top," a bluegrass standard that doubles as the unofficial anthem of the University of Tennessee. The company tried but failed to stop the name change.

But on Wednesday, a federal judge agreed with House of Bryant that developers' plans for Rocky Top products would likely infringe on the company's trademarks.

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