Jim Cornette has lost a preliminary injunction in his lawsuit against G-Raver.
In the preliminary injunction (via Alexandra J. Roberts), the court ruled t-shirts sold by G-Raver aren't commerce but speech, "G-Raver sold the shirts...to critique Cornette’s views on deathmatch wrestling through parody; 1a protects this expression...because parodies are a valuable means of expression to weaken the ideas the celebrity espouses. On top of that, the shirts don't create a likelihood of confusion and Cornette's name may possess the distinctiveness that would make it a trademark. It's certainly not a famous one capable of dilution. Even if it were a mark, defendants' uses aren't similar."
Cornette's right of publicity claim also failed with the ruling saying, "even when the use is facially for a commercial or advertising purpose; the relevant exception here is...the shirts are expressive works & the use is through a communications medium."
The court holds the shirts to be works "invented by G-Raver's imagination" and thus they are transformative.
Cornette's attorney commented, noting the preliminary injunction.
It was on a preliminary injunction. Glad you enjoyed it. Academia can be boring sometimes I am sure— Steve New (@StephenPNew) September 1, 2020
Cornette and G-Raver have no publicly commented on the ruling.