Las Vegas wedding chapels receive letters of stopping and stopping Elvis

Las Vegas wedding chapels receive letters of stopping and stopping Elvis

(CNN) – Some Las Vegas wedding chapels are receiving cease-and-desist letters asking them to stop using the image and likeness of Elvis in their operations, according to two letters obtained by CNN.

In letters received by two worshipers and shared with CNN, a lawyer from the Authentic Brands Group (ABG) said the companies – Vegas Weddings and Viva Las Vegas Weddings – infringed on Elvis Presley’s intellectual property rights, creating a “false erroneous” impression that Elvis Presley had agreed against the abusive church, supported it, or patronized it. The infringing church is clearly bartering Elvis Presley’s intellectual property, image, name and likeness without the consent of the Elvis Presley Companies.”

In 2013, the Authentic Brands Group announced that it had purchased the intellectual property associated with the rock and roll icon from Core Media Group.

“As custodians of Elvis Presley’s estate, it is our responsibility to protect his legacy,” APG said in a statement on Wednesday.

“This includes ensuring that all products, services and advertisements that use the Elvis name, image or similar are officially licensed by the Elvis Presley Companies,” the statement said.

“The facility has strong relationships with official Elvis Honors artists, fan clubs and festivals, as well as a strong global network of licensed merchandise partners. There is no intention of closing chapels offering Elvis packages in Las Vegas. We are seeking a partnership with each of these small businesses to ensure that Their use of Elvis’ name, image, and likeness is officially licensed and authorized by the estate, so that they can continue their operations.”

The statement goes on to say that ABG recognizes that “Elvis is an integral part of the fabric of Las Vegas’ history, and we are committed to protecting and expanding his legacy for generations to come.”

Melody Willis Williams, president of Vegas Weddings and Viva Las Vegas Weddings, received letters from ABG last month and has since sought legal advice.

“We believe the Las Vegas wedding industry has helped keep Elvis relevant to an entire generation of people,” Willis Williams said. “People come from all over the world for this.”

Willis Williams said that many Elvis impersonators work on her property, which also offers weddings hosted by Hollywood characters such as Dumbledore and Snape from the Harry Potter series, Batman and the Grinch.

Willis Williams said she went back and forth with ABG last week. She said ABG is aiming for a licensing agreement.

Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, issued her five million marriage license on February 20, 2022, according to weddings.vegas.

“Elvis Presley has always called Las Vegas his home and his name has become synonymous with weddings in Las Vegas,” Jason Whaley, president of the Vegas Wedding Chamber, told CNN via email.

“The Vegas Wedding Chamber shares the concern that many chapels and our (impersonators) livelihoods are being targeted, especially as many are still trying to recover financially from the hurdles we have all endured with the COVID lockdowns. We will continue to focus on and look forward to a solution that will not negatively impact the wedding economy in Las Vegas or the Elvis wedding experience that a lot of couples travel to Las Vegas to be a part of.”

Las Vegas Mayor Caroline Goodman has also raised concerns about the letters.

“Our wedding industry is struggling through the pandemic and the economic devastation it has caused,” Goodman said in a statement to CNN. “Obviously these are not people or a company that cares about this community or its members.”

Clark County clerk Lane Marie Goya echoed those sentiments.

“While other artists fade from the public consciousness, Elvis’ spirit continues to live on in Las Vegas. Couples come from all over the world to add a little Elvis magic to their lives. Elvis weddings have been around for decades and a number of Elvis weddings have been around for decades,” Goya said in a statement to CNN. Companies built their livelihoods around Elvis sharing the joy of living with spouses.”

“It would be a sad day for Las Vegas – and the world – if he really left the building.”

Top photo: Elvis impersonator at a wedding organized by Viva Las Vegas Weddings. (Courtesy of Viva Las Vegas Weddings)

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