Aspen companies set to win in Escobar name dispute

Pablo Escobar, left, a 41-year-old billionaire leader of the Medellin drug cartel, poses during a football match in Medellin, Colombia, in 1983. To the right is an unidentified bodyguard. (AP Photo)

It looks like Pablo Escobar’s name will live on in Aspen.

A legal challenge against several Aspen companies, named after the late drug leader, has failed after plaintiff Escobar Inc. missed the filing deadline in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Two federal claims had already been dismissed on September 22 by U.S. District Chief Justice Philip Brimer, who gave plaintiff Escobar Inc. until Friday to explain why he should hear his three remaining claims against Barwest Group, which is doing business. under the name of downtown Escobar Aspen nightclub. ; Escobar Spirits, which sells Escobar Vodka; and Escobar Aspen. Aspen businessman Ryan Chadwick controls all three entities.

Puerto Rico-based Escobar Inc. did not respond to the court closing at 5 p.m. Friday. In a minute order issued Thursday, Judge Brimer warned: “The plaintiff has neither responded to the court’s show cause order nor requested an extension of time to respond. The claimant is reminded of their obligation to comply with all court orders and deadlines. The claimant must respond to the show cause order no later than October 15, 2021. Failure to do so may result in dismissal of the case.

Escobar Inc. sued Chadwick in September 2020, claiming that it owned intellectual property rights to the Escobar name. The company also introduced itself as being founded by Roberto Escobar, brother of the South American drug lord. Escobar Inc. had asked the court for a cease and desist order to prevent Chadwick from using Escobar’s name, as well as $ 5 million for profits made by his businesses.

Chadwick did not back down, however, and has continued to use Escobar’s names to this day. He also registered a trademark and service mark for Escobar the previous decade.

“I filed the mark in 2013 so happy to hear that the judge ruled in our favor,” he said in a text message on Friday.

Pablo Escobar Gaviria, leader of the Medallin cartel in Bogota, Colombia, January 13, 1988 (AP Photo)

One of the claims rejected by Escobar Inc. concerned copyright infringement, alleging that Roberto Escobar’s works of art were “displayed on all (d) defendants’ businesses” without Escobar Inc.’s consent. Although Roberto’s work has not been registered in the United States, lawyers for Escobar Inc. argued that they could still bring an infringement action against the Aspen defendants.

In his ruling last month, Justice Brimer disagreed, saying they had failed to demonstrate “copyright ownership, which is necessary to bring an action for copyright infringement. author”.

The second federal charge Brimer dismissed last month was Escobar Inc.’s claim that Chadwick should compensate him for “all profits” made on Escobar’s name. The judge’s ruling stated that Escobar Inc. had failed to demonstrate that it was entitled to a monetary remedy.

Forbes once ranked Pablo Escobar among the richest people in the world with a net worth of $ 30 billion, and his cartel was also responsible for over 80% of the cocaine smuggled into the United States at one point in time. He was 44 when he died in December 1993 following a shootout with Colombian authorities.

The costume portrays Escobar as an iconic figure: “Pablo Escobar is considered one of the greatest heroic outlaws of all time by many in Colombia and around the world. In addition, Escobar’s life has been the subject of numerous books, films and TV shows. Throughout his life, Escobar was responsible for building houses and football fields in western Colombia for the poor.

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