Frank Zappa Trademark No Longer Valid in Germany, Court Rules

Frank Zappa’s family trust can’t use a trademark named after the late American rock star to prevent a German music festival from using the title “Zappanale,” the country’s top civil court ruled.

The trademark “ZAPPA,” which the U.S. based Zappa Family Trust filed in Europe and cited in the case, lost its protection because it wasn’t used within five years after registration, the court said in statement on its website today. The trust’s domain “” is merely a website about Frank Zappa, whose best-known works include album “Apostrophe (’),” and single “Don’t Eat The Yellow Snow,” and didn’t constitute use of the trademark, the judges said.

The music festival has used the Zappanale title since 1990, according to the Karlsruhe-based court.

To contact the reporters on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons in London at

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