Use of ‘Doors’ name restricted

September 2005


Original Doors members Ray Manzarek and Robby Kreiger along with ex Cult frontman Ian Astbury have been banned from using the band’s name while touring. This follows legal action brought by original drummer John Densmore and the families of Jim Morrison and Morrison’s then girlfriend in the United States. Keyboard player Manzrek, guitarist Krieger and vocalist Astbury have been touring as the Doors of the 21st Century since 2002. The suit from the parents of late rock star Jim Morrison claimed that by re-forming the band with another singer, Manzarek and Kreiger had “maliciously misappropriated” the name. George and Clara Morrison claimed breach of contract, unfair competition and trademark infringement in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit and sought unspecified damages and to put a stop to the new incarnation of the band. Manzarek and Kreiger were also sued by the parents of Morrison’s late girlfriend, Pamela Courson, who, according to the lawsuit, owns half of the rock icon’s share in the Doors. The Morrison lawsuit alleged that “over the past 37 years the legendary rock band the Doors … has become one of the most distinctive names in contemporary music,” the lawsuit said and that the “Defendants have knowingly, intentionally and maliciously misappropriated and infringed upon the valuable name and logo of the Doors … by stealing these valuable property rights and employing them for the purpose of naming, promoting and marketing a new band.” Morrison died in Paris of an apparent heart attack in July, 1971 at the age of 27. The Court held that the use of the name from 2002 breached an agreement struck in 1971, following Morrison’s death and ordered a permanent injunction against further use. This agreement was that all three surviving members, as well as Morrison’s estate had to agree to any use of the Doors name and logo. The LA court order also requires Manzarek and Krieger to share profits from their group with the original Doors partnership.

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