A judge has rejected country star Kenny Chesney's request for a nationwide ban on merchandise bootleggers selling items outside his American concerts.

Judge LEON JORDAN said Chesney's failure to show the court an 'official' T-shirt as evidence was key in his refusal to grant the merchandise ban.

Jordan wrote in his opinion, "This omission makes it impossible for the court to perform a complete comparison of the goods to determine the likelihood of confusion caused by the bootleg merchandise."

At a June (03) hearing, the judge demanded to see a T-shirt when Chesney's attorney JOHN G JACKSON returned to court in July (03) to argue for the ban. Jackson laughed at the comment, then brought T-shirts he said were bootleg merchandise but not an official shirt.

Chesney, 35, sought an injunction before his 7 June (03) concert at the UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE, saying bootleggers were following his tour and selling merchandise outside the venues.

His lawyer argued the items were inferior and not sanctioned by his merchandising company, tricking fans and depriving the singer of thousands of dollars in revenue.

Jordan noted in his ruling there's no proof that the bootleggers have ever been identified.

13/08/2003 20:54