Showing posts with label Ozzy Osbourne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ozzy Osbourne. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Fergie....David Lee Roth....Cher.....Ed Kowalczyk?

Henrik Dvergsdai / Wikimedia Commons
When band members strike out on their own and try to pursue a successful solo career, some have the good fortune of already having a cool name with loads of fan recognition. 

Consequently, their solo acts need little or no introduction to their fans. Notable examples include Fergie (Stacey Ferguson of the Black Eyed Peas), David Lee Roth (formerly of Van Halen), Morrissey (formerly of The Smiths), Ozzy Osbourne (formerly of Black Sabbath), and Cher (formerly of Sonny & Cher).

But some people just aren't so lucky, like Ed Kowalczyk (right). In the 1990's, Ed was the lead singer of a major band called "Live."  Live broke out with the 1994 album, "Throwing Copper," which spent a year on the Billboard 200 album chart before hitting the No. 1 position.

Live released seven albums in total, and sold tens of millions of albums and hundreds of thousands of concert tickets. The band's hit songs included "Lightning Crashes," "Lakini's Juice" and "Selling the Drama.Eventually, after a decade of living the dramain 2009, Ed sought greener pastures.

Perhaps to remind fans of his current status, or perhaps to keep an association with his previous band, Ed ironically chose to call his new solo album “ALIVE." 

Further, Ed has allegedly billed himself as "Ed Kowalczyk of Live." But the band's other original members are reportedly attempting to put a stop to this form of self-promotion in a newly-filed trademark infringement lawsuit

Ed's self-promotion is likely to cause consumer confusion, according to the Complaint.  Booking agents, theaters, arenas and the press are allegedly being deceived into thinking Ed still has affililation with the group Live.

Billboard reminds us of the large amount of litigation that followed the sad break-up of the original Platters.  Singer Herb Reed became the last original member of the group to leave the band in the early 1970's and afterwards, the company (Five Platters Inc.) that was formed by the original members, hired a new member to continue on as a new Platters group. That fateful decision led to four decades of litigation which culminated just a few months ago when a judge ruled, "'Only You,' Herb Reed, have exclusive rights to the mark."  Herb Reed then died.

The Hollywood Reporter analogized this particular breakup to an ugly divorce. Billboard correctly points out that the ultimate legal analysis often comes down who has continuously exploited the band name and who is recognized by the public as holding the greatest claim to the mark.

Source:  Ed's Website
Here, the nature of the band's previous business partnership will have an impact. Each of the four members of Live apparently signed an Employment Agreement with the company organized to run the band's services.  And that Agreement could spell bad news for Ed, who is facing statutory damages up to $2M in addition to a permanent injunction.

It's also worth noting that Ed has tried to sell coffee, too, under the brand "EDDIE'S COFFEE." Ed might need a new agent, in addition to a new trademark lawyer.