In an article from Guitar World, Dave Rusan outlined his position on the dispute, stating, “the goal as to my dealings with Paisley Park is to resolve this conflict in a way that is equitable to both parties.”
“I want nothing from them other than to be left alone to make my guitars for appreciative fans of Prince and the guitar I made him to play in Purple Rain,” he said.
While Paisley Park Estates, Prince’s main business company, have yet to comment on its communications with Rusan, they must be aware of Rusan’s intention to fight for the right to build replicas of the guitar that he has been making since Prince first commissioned him in 1984.
“I’ve been building replicas of the Cloud occasionally over the years since I did the ones for Prince,” says Rusan. “It became more of a full-time endeavor after Prince’s death when interest in them took off. I’ve built around 15 so far and have orders for another 15.”
He is currently contemplating his options, including starting a petition and sourcing income via crowdfunding for legal case.
Rusan trademarked the design in early 2018, but subsequently recieved a letter from Paisley Park that ordered him to stop producing the model and give up his trademark. Schecter guitars Cloud replicas are available for purchase on prince.com, adding to the dispute.
Prince was a staunch defender of his image and sound rights during his career, and his company have taken up the mantle since his passing.
Last year Paisley Park filed an application with the US Patent and Trademark Office to trademark the colour purple, with the company’s entertainer advisor Troy Carter stating, “the colour purple was synonymous with Prince and always will be,” however, the claim was rejected in January.
Paisley Park Enterprises have also moved to trademark the phrase “the purple one” to further protect the artists’ legacy, with progress still pending on the application.
Rediscover the story of Prince’s Cloud Guitar here.