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Thread: Law Suits In Store

  1. #1
    FORT Fogey razorbacker's Avatar
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    Law Suits In Store

    They got the Sue Me Sue You Blues.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/eo/20060712/en_tv_eo/19477

    "Rock Star" Rocked by Lawsuit

    By Natalie Finn Wed Jul 12, 2:17 AM ET
    The Orange County-based band Supernova has filed a complaint alleging unfair competition and trademark infringement against Mark Burnett Productions, CBS and the other minds behind the competition show Rock Star: Supernova. Lee, former Guns N' Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke and former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted are using the on-camera opportunity to choose the next hot, yet appropriately surly, young thing to front their new band.
    Which is also called, um, Supernova.
    Rockstar Entertainment Inc., Lee, Clarke and Newsted are all named in the suit, as well, which was filed June 27 in U.S. District Court.
    The original Supernova--bassist Art Mitchell, drummer Dave Collins and guitarist Jodey Lawrence, who joined the band in 1994 (the rest got together in 1989)--is looking to keep Lee and his heavy metal cohorts from using the name and to bar the CBS show from using it as part of the Rock Star title.
    The Pop as a Weapon musicians are also seeking the destruction of all "labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, containers, advertisements, electronic media and other materials bearing the Supernova mark." (Unless it's their own, of course.)
    The punk trio are also demanding that Rock Star's producers "publish clarifying statements that [the show] is not associated with [the original group]," stating that the defendants ignored the fact that the Supernova name was unavailable for outsider use.
    Per the lawsuit, Burnett's company filed seven U.S. trademark applications to corner the name Supernova, as well as two more for the title Rock Star: Supernova.
    "Our clients believe they have the superior right on the mark Supernova," the band's attorney, John Mizhir, told the Associated Press Tuesday. The group "has a long-standing common-law trademark right to the mark."
    Gary Hecker, a lawyer repping Mark Burnett Productions, said that his client has the legal right to the now-controversial name and that "the complaint is without merit." He added that because the various defendants have not yet been served with the lawsuit, they "do not have an obligation" to respond.
    Meanwhile, despite the fact that Rock Star had only a so-so premiere on July 5, attracting about 5.4 million viewers, the old Supernova is claiming that its future income will be compromised by the CBS show because the program will intentionally interfere with the band's business relationships. The group also stated its concern that consumers seeking out its recordings and merchandise may mistakenly purchase the newly formed Supernova's stuff instead.
    Two days after the band filed its complaint, Art Mitchell told MTV News that he wasn't sure what to make of the show.
    "We definitely put the spaceship in neutral, but we never called it quits," he said. Mitchell said that Supernova, which has put out three albums and performed at two Warped Tours, had four shows booked in July and August. Their tune "Chewbacca" played in Kevin Smith's Clerks.
    "It's like when you're a little kid and the bully down the street steals something from you and you don't do anything about it," Mitchell said. "But we're going to go kick some butt, dude. They probably figured we're clerks, but our drummer, Dave, is a lawyer."
    The drummer/attorney concurred. "You can't just waltz up and use our name," Collins told MTV News before the suit was filed. "We're willing to fight for our name, our band. We have trademark rights to the name and we can prove those rights."

  2. #2
    Big Electric Cat jasmar's Avatar
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    It's a stupid name, anyway, unless for a parody band (like Spinal Tap).
    Token Christian.

    If truth is relative, how do you know?

  3. #3
    Endlessly ShrinkingViolet's Avatar
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    Supernova File Injunction Against Tommy Lee's 'Rock Star: Supernova'

    Filing seeks to halt reality-show rockers from performing or recording under Supernova moniker.

    08.11.2006 11:53 AM EDT

    The members of Orange County, California, punk trio Supernova filed for a preliminary injunction Friday (August 11) in San Diego's U.S. District Court against CBS Broadcasting, Mark Burnett Productions and Tommy Lee, Jason Newsted and Gilby Clarke the three future members of the band searching for a lead singer on the show "Rock Star: Supernova" which seeks to halt the act from performing or recording under the name "Supernova" if they fail to change or add any words to the moniker.

    The filing follows a suit the original Supernova bassist Art Mitchell, drummer Dave Collins and guitarist Jodey Lawrence filed against the show's producers in late June, which alleged trademark infringement (see "Supernova Sue 'Rock Star: Supernova' Producers, Bandmembers"). That suit seeks a jury trial, as well as the destruction of all "labels, signs, prints, packages, wrappers, containers, advertisements, electronic media and other materials bearing the Supernova mark."

    The original Supernova, who first formed in 1989 and have released four studio albums, claim that the suit's defendants intend to illegally use the Supernova name (which they say is taken) and trademark it. The group contacted the show's producers upon learning of the proposed name for the reality-television series, and the two sides have been in negotiations since before the June lawsuit's filing. With those negotiations at a standstill, the band decided to take additional legal action to protect its moniker.

    "Our client has taken legal action in order to preserve its rights to the name the band has worked so long and hard to establish," said Supernova's attorney, John Mizhir Jr. "We tried to settle the matter quickly and fairly, but after lengthy negotiations with CBS, Mark Burnett Productions and others, they left us with no options but to seek the preliminary injunction."

    The lawsuit claims that "Rock Star" producers willingly ignored the fact that the Supernova name was and still is in use, and therefore unavailable. The suit also alleges that "individuals within defendants' own organizations informed defendants of plaintiff's rights in the Supernova mark" and that illegal use of the Supernova name will cut into the original Supernova's future income by interfering "with plaintiff's business relationships" or causing them to lose merchandising deals and offers to perform.

    A hearing on the matter should be scheduled within the next 28 days; "Rock Star: Supernova" is scheduled to air through September 27. If a judge rules in the band's favor, the producers may have to come up with a different name for the show's in-the-making rock outfit.

    Calls to CBS for comment had not been returned at press time.

    Link

  4. #4
    I see dead people SQUATMAN's Avatar
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    more about the original SN
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova_(band)

    Our SN has also been using "the Tommy Lee Project" on their website.
    Regardless, dumb oversight not to at least do a google search with the name

  5. #5
    Fort Blondie BlondieGal's Avatar
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    "Our clients believe they have the superior right on the mark Supernova," the band's attorney, John Mizhir, told the Associated Press Tuesday. The group "has a long-standing common-law trademark right to the mark."

    I have never heard of common-law trademark. Either the name is trademarked or it is not. If not legally trademarked, then the new group can have a right to use it.
    And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know ~ Kansas

  6. #6
    Looking for a way out Bubba-Jo-Lyn's Avatar
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    I never heard of that kind of trademark either but I know there have been a number of bands that had to change their name because of existing bands in other countries. Bush (Gavin Rossdale's group) had to be called Bush X in Canada because of another group with that name until they were able to buy it. Recently Pilate a Cdn group had to change their name to Pilot Speed because of some company in the USA with the same name. As for SN, you would have thought that before they put the show on the air that someone did some fact checking for similar band names. They could have called it anything else before the show went to air since it was a brand new group anyways.
    Remember: Mentioning Jesus in your speech: small government. Doing what Jesus asked: big government - Stephen Colbert

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  7. #7
    Fool... but no pity. Krom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlondieGal View Post
    "Our clients believe they have the superior right on the mark Supernova," the band's attorney, John Mizhir, told the Associated Press Tuesday. The group "has a long-standing common-law trademark right to the mark."

    I have never heard of common-law trademark. Either the name is trademarked or it is not. If not legally trademarked, then the new group can have a right to use it.
    Some info about common-law trademarks:

    http://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/common.html

    According to that page, Common Law trademarking is REGIONAL in nature. In other words, Supernova the Punk Band might have a case in the state of California, but NOT anywhere else.

    And its hard to tell if this would even apply to something like a band. The example given on that page is a brand of Coffee.

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  8. #8
    Fort Blondie BlondieGal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krom View Post
    Some info about common-law trademarks:

    http://www.bitlaw.com/trademark/common.html

    According to that page, Common Law trademarking is REGIONAL in nature. In other words, Supernova the Punk Band might have a case in the state of California, but NOT anywhere else.

    And its hard to tell if this would even apply to something like a band. The example given on that page is a brand of Coffee.
    Very interesting Krom ~ thank you!
    And if I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know ~ Kansas

  9. #9
    Helplessly Hoping AsIs's Avatar
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    Rockstar: Copyright Infringement!

    A judge ruled today (Wed Sep13th) in CA that since there is already a group with the name Supernova, the Rockstar group Supernova must change thier name. I read about it at Yahoo's Entertainment News.

    , I thought it might be fun if we came up with our own names for them...Anyone game?
    "How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions, not for glory, not for fame... for one person. In the dark. Where no one will ever know or see." - Sebastion, Babylon 5

  10. #10
    Looking for a way out Bubba-Jo-Lyn's Avatar
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    Rockstar: Super Gonna Suck
    Remember: Mentioning Jesus in your speech: small government. Doing what Jesus asked: big government - Stephen Colbert

    Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut the b*tch up with cookies. (Unknown)

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