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Fight Over Bluegrass Music Legend's Name Continues

A court fight over the use of the name of legendary bluegrass musician Bill Monroe isn't over yet.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports the Ohio County Industrial Foundation has filed a petition with the Kentucky Court of Appeals seeking a rehearing on whether a non-profit organization can use Monroe's name to promote the Jerusalem Ridge Bluegrass Music Festival and for tours of the musicians home in Rosine.

The appelas court decision in favor of the nonprofit pranization was a reversal of a lower court decision that found Ohio County held the intellectual property rights to Monroe's name and could stop the festival from using it. The Ohio County Industrial Foundation voted unanimously this month to seek the re-hearing.

Jerusalem Ridge Foundation Director Campbell Mercer said in a prepared statement that the appeals court "has already issued a thorough explanation of why it believes the Jerusalem Ridge Foundation is the legal holder of the Bill Monroe name and intellectual properties." He said the petition by the Ohio County Industrial Foundation and the Ohio County Fiscal Court did not seem to include any new information for the court to consider, but he respects their right to petition for a review.

The appeals court concluded that county officials meant to grant the festival and Mercer the legal right to use Monroe's name but failed to formalize the agreement in writing before a falling out occurred in 2004.

Mercer said he hopes to use Monroe's name during this year's Jerusalem ridge Bluegrass Celebration. Last year's festival drew about 15,000 people.

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