Bob Marley Estate Settles With Chicken Finger Chain

The family of the late Bob Marley just settled a legal dispute with Todd Graves and his Raising Cane chicken finger chain’s use of the One Love slogan, made famous by the reggae prophet.

Since 2001, Graves has used the One Love motif on souvenirs and branding materials, according to the Marley estate’s Fifty-Six Hope Road. But the estate has been using it since 1999 and selling the licensing rights to those who want to use the One Love trademark for a price.

Bob Marley’s estate filed suit first, then Graves counter-sued, asking for judicial clearance to continue to use the slogan to one of Bob Marley’s most famous songs (so famous they just paid tribute to him in his brief home of Wilmington, Delaware, by naming another place One Love Park).

But after one of Marley’s daughters, Cedella Marley, met with Graves late in the week, the estate’s lawyer, Timothy Ervin, released a statement on Friday, according to the Post and Courier, that “Hope Road is glad the matters have been settled upon mutually agreeable terms.” Those terms were not disclosed, and the Marley estate added that it wouldn’t comment any further.

Earlier, both parties had withdrawn their lawsuits from the docket of Chief U.S. District Court Judge Brian Jackson. Graves was quoted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, as saying that the two sides had reached a “mutually beneficial agreement.”

While the estate’s case can rest for now, another case involving Marley’s beloved “No Woman, No Cry” and 12 other songs is eking its way through a Jamaican court. Essentially: the owner of most of Bob Marley’s coveted catalog, Blue Mountain Records, is being accused by Marley’s founding publisher, Cayman Records, of cornering too many of the royalties.

What caused all this dispute? Cayman lawyer Hugo Cuddigan says Marley, who died at 39 in 1981, inked a deal for Cayman to publish the songs in 1973, but didn’t take any of the songwriting credits, doling those out to family members or, in the case of “No Woman, No Cry,” Vincent Ford, a Marley mentor who ran a Kingston soup kitchen until his death in 2008. Cuddington alleges Marley did this to sidestep his contract.

But, according to the House of Bob Marley, Ford had a great hand in the making of “No Woman, No Cry.” Even though Ford himself took no actual credit for writing the song, Marley claimed to have written the song at Ford’s side and under the sway of his inspirational example.

Ford encouraged the local youngsters he’d feed, Marley included, to express themselves through guitars they’d find lying around. One day, Ford heard Marley singing:

“I remember when we used to sit/In the government yard in Trenchtown.

Oba, ob-serving the hypocrites/As they would mingle with the good people we meet.

Good friends we have had, oh good friends we’ve lost along the way/In this bright future you can’t forget your past, so dry your tears I say…

No woman, no cry”

[Image courtesy of the Bob Marley estate]