Knight-McDowell v. Rival Group, LLC et al

Filing 1

COMPLAINT with Jury Demand, filed by Gladys Knight-McDowell; and Summon(s) issued. ( Filing fee $ 400.00 receipt number 113E-6659597.) (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit -A, # 2 Exhibit - B, # 3 Exhibit -C, # 4 Exhibit -D, # 5 Exhibit -E, # 6 Civil Cover Sheet)(eop) Please visit our website at to obtain Pretrial Instructions which includes the Consent To Proceed Before U.S. Magistrate form.

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EXHIBIT B a KILPATRICK TOWNSEND KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP ATTORNEYS AT LAW Christopher P. Bussert Suite 2800,1100 Peachtree Street NE Atlanta, GA 30309-4528 t 404 815 6500 f404 815 6555 July 21, 2016 direct dial 404 815 6545 VIA EMAIL AND UPS Mr. Shanga Hankerson President and Chief Executive Officer Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles Concepts 1259 Willis Mill Road, SW Atlanta, GA 30311-2438 E-mail: Re: Termination of Licensing Arrangement Dear Mr. Hankerson: Our law firm represents your mother, Gladys Knight-McDowell in intellectual property matters. As you know, your mother and the Rival Group L.L.C. ("Rival") were parties to a "Letter Agreement" dated March 4, 1999 pursuant to which your mother granted permission to Rival to use her name and likeness in connection with a food service business that specializes in Southern cuisine. In accordance with that Agreement, we understand Rival was involved in the operation of certain Gladys Knight Chicken and Waffles restaurants including three currently in existence in Atlanta and Lithonia (collectively the "Restaurants"). As you are also aware, your mother further provided Rival permission to use certain proprietary recipes and memorabilia items in connection with operation of the ■ Restaurants. As you are further aware, the Letter Agreement was for a 10-year term and was not renewed as provided in Paragraph 8 of that Agreement. As a result, the Letter Agreement expired on March 4, 2009. After March 4, 2009, your mother continued an informal license arrangement with you and related business entities including Rival, pursuant to which you and these business entities were permitted to continue using her name, USADMIN 10682382 2 ATLANTA AUGUSTA CHARLOTTE DENVER LOS ANGELES NEW YORK RALEIGH SAN DIEGO SAN FRANCISCO SEATTLE SHANGHAI SILICON VALLEY STOCKHOLM TOKYO WALNUT CREEK WASHINGTON WINSTON-SALEM Mr. Shanga Hankerson July 21, 2016 Page 2 likeness, recipes and memorabilia in connection with the operation of the Restaurants, provided that the goods and services provided in connection with the operation of the Restaurants by you and Rival were at least equivalent to those that Rival was required to provide under the Letter Agreement. We are advised that your mother has recently contacted you and orally advised you that she is terminating all rights of you. Rival and any other business entity with which you are involved to' continue using her name, likeness, recipes and memorabilia in any manner in connection with the Restaurants or any other food service business. We are writing to ensure that you have written notice of this termination for your file. We are further advised that neither you nor Rival or any other business entity with which you are involved are currently in possession of the Restaurants and that they are currently being operated by the State of Georgia pursuant to the action the State of Georgia has initiated captioned State of Georgia ex rel. Tracy Graham Lawson, district attorney of Clayton Judicial Circuit V. Shanga Hankerson, et al., Civil Action File 2016-cv02428-6, which is currently pending in the Superior Court of Clayton County of the State of Georgia (the "Civil Action"). Please be advised that we will be contacting the State of Georgia to demand that it immediately cease use of your mother's name, likeness, memorabilia and recipes in any manner in connection with the operation of the Restaurants. We understand that you and your related business entities may be attempting in the Civil Action to regain control of the Restaurants. In the event you are successful in doing so, we will be in contact with you and your related business entities in connection with fully implementing termination of the parties' license arrangement to ensure that your mother's name, likeness, recipes and memorabilia are no longer used by the Restaurants. Please let me know if you have any questions regarding any aspect of this letter. ^ cc: Ms. Gladys Knight-McDowel USADMIN 10682382 2

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