Thomas Anders and Dieter Bohlen formed German duo Modern Talking in 1984 and they became a worldwide sensation with their hit “You’re My Heart, You’re My Soul”. They followed this up with a string of other worldwide hits, including “You Can Win If You Want”, “Cheri, Cheri Lady”, “Brother Louie” and “Atlantis Is Calling (S.O.S. for Love) before dissolving in 1987. In 1998, they reunited and produced several more worldwide hits including “You Are Not Alone”, “Win the Race” and “TV Makes the Superstar”, before dissolving again in 2003. The duo sold 120 million records worldwide.
Move on 15 years, and now Anders has won a case in the District Court of Hamburg against “playback act” Modern Talking Reloaded (MTR) after being repeatedly contacted by fans of the original band who had thought MTR WAS the original duo – with Anders seemingly taking action after it transpired MTR were not a tribute band or even a covers band – but a ‘full-play-back show’ where performers would dance moves whilst miming to Modern Talking’s original sound recordings.
Having concluded that MTR had used photos that could be easily confused with those of the original Modern Talking, the court found the use of the name ‘Modern Talking’ by MTR was an infringement of the original duo’s trademark – despite the addition of the word “Reloaded”. The Court ordered MTR to cease using the name, and ruled that MTR should pay compensation by way of damages.
Hamburg-based law firm Michow & Ulbricht made it clear this was not an action against a ‘cover band’: “Both Thomas Anders as well as our firm find it of paramount importance to note that this suit does not aim to prohibit ordinary cover-band concerts”, explaining the action was brought to protect fans saying “The goal is to protect fans from the false impression engendered by Modern Talking Reloaded that the original band Modern Talking would be performing.”
There appears to still be a live FaceBook page for MTR here https://www.facebook.com/Modern.Talking.reloaded/