TRADE MARK
Artists, Record Labels

Boy band BLUE have resolved their dispute with Scottish rock band BLUE over the use of the name with what can be best described as a ‘Mexican stand-off’ where both bands will continue using the same name. As part of the settlement, costs were awarded against the Scottish band but will not be applied for by the ‘New’ Blue or their label (EMI/Virgin) – provided the ‘Old’ Blue do not bring any trade mark application or other formalisation over use of the name.
Formed in 1973, Old Blue had argued that their career was being hampered by the new boy band using the same name as them. The Old Blue last had a hit in 1977 when their single Gonna Capture Your Heart got to number 18 in the UK charts. The band have released sixteen singles and seven albums and are primarily a recording band selling CDs by mail order and the Internet. New Blue, formed in 2000, have had seven top 10 hits and three number 1 records in the UK charts in the last three years. Both bands had worked with rock legend Sir Elton John, who had been expected to give evidence.
Mr Justice Laddie expressed some surprise that counsel for the Old Blue felt that the two bands might get confused saying ‘there is somewhat a difference in appearance. One is aged like you and me, the other is a boy band …. are you seriously saying that fans of one group would mistake one for the other’.

Source: The Times, 30 June 2003
Also see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3019642.stm and see the links at the bottom of the main Law Updates page for usfeful links to information on band names