Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Fab Four v. The Fab 4

Anyone who knows of my interest in all things Beatles related will know that I was fascinated to learn of the recent law suit filed in Nevada federal court, The Fab Four Corp. v. The Fab 4, LLC. I almost predicted a lawsuit along these lines in my recent blog post about the Marty Robbins Tribute Show lawsuit.

In this case, The Fab Four, a Beatles tribute band based in Nevada, have sued the Fab 4, a Beatles tribute band in Colorado, alleging trademark infringement, claiming among other things, that “the Fab 4” is an imitation of “the Fab Four,” and false designation of origin under the Lanham Act. Interestingly, the Plaintiffs have a registered trademark for “The Fab Four The Ultimate Tribute” which was registered in January of this year, but only an application for the Fab Four mark individually.

There are two interesting aspects of this case. The first is the strength of the Plaintiff’s mark. They claim that their mark “the Fab Four” is descriptive of their services. But clearly, both bands’ entire reason for existing is to imitate the original real fabs. I wonder if that will have any impact on the case, it certainly should be considered by the defense.

The other interesting and troubling aspect of the case is that the Plaintiffs sued the Defendants in federal court in Nevada, the Plaintiffs’ home turf, apparently asserting jurisdiction because the Defendants’ website is accessible in Nevada. I have written about the worrisome development of the assertion of personal jurisdiction purely as a result of internet presence several times before, and it is a disturbing trend.

P.S. For my money, “1964, The Tribute” is the best Beatles tribute band and musically, my friends Steve Allen’s “Mystery Trip,” and Dennis Scott’s “The WannaBeatles,” both replicate the Beatles’ sound (but not their wardrob) and can’t be topped

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