Fight over name UB40 - registering artist name as trademark

The famous British reggae/pop group UB40 was founded in 1978 by a few unemployed friends. In 2008 lead singer Ali Campbell and Mickey Virtue leave the band, after som disagreement with management. Duncan Campbell, Ali’s brother, became the new lead singer.

In the fall of 2013 (some days before their tour in the Netherlands) trumpet player Terence Astro also quits the band. By the end of January it was announced that the three previous band members (Ali, Mickey and Terence) will launch a new album on the market under the name UB40. The remaining part of the “original” UB40 responded that they are hurt by what they see as an attempt to hijack the name UB40. Many musical groups and artist register their name as a trademark, not only for protection, but also for merchandising opportunities. In UB40’s case this was never done. A quick check in the register does show that Ali applied for the trademark in late 2013. The remaining band members are considering legal steps.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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