UK One Direction counter sue US name rivals

July 2012


The UK One Direction are counter-suing US’s One Direction after the US band brough a suit saying they had the use of the bands’ name. At the moment the UK’s X-factor creation are one of the biggest pop successes in the World.  The American band claimed they had been using the name since 2009, some time before the UK group was formed on ‘X-Factor’, and were also first to upload an album using the moniker to iTunes (albeit after One Direction UK had been formed). CMU Daily report that the US band have alleged that Simon Cowell, Syco and Sony Music knew this before launching their pop creations in the USA, because the US trademark registry had told them so. Syco and Sony Music therefore had no business launching their group under that name in the US, the American band argued, and as a result they were suing for damages.

But in a counter suit filed last week, lawyers working for the Sony/Cowell empire have focused on the release date of the American band’s first album, February 2011. They note that One Direction UK were created on British TV the previous autumn, that there had been globally accessible videos and a social media presence since then, and that those had enjoyed considerable views in America. They also point to a One Direction USA Facebook post from Autumn 2010 that noted the existence of 1DUK. Therefore, the Sony lawyers argue, it was One Direction USA who were at fault, releasing their album under that moniker despite knowing of the UK group’s existence.

The US band’s attorney Peter Ross told The Hollywood Reporter: “It looks like we got defendants’ attention. This is the response we expected, given who we’re up against. An effort is being made to intimidate these young men from California. Our clients believe in their case and will not be deterred”.

CMU Daily 25 June 2012

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