One Direction sued for $1 million over name dispute

The British boy band shares its name with a northern California group

© Fiona McKinlay

British boy band One Direction was having a good year. Since its formation on Simon Cowell’s TV talent show “The X Factor,” the five-man act had garnered a 2012 Brit Award, a Saturday Night Live appearance and a No. 1 Billboard ranking for its debut album “Up All Night.” But the group’s rise to celebrity is damaging the reputation of a U.S. band with the same name, according to a lawsuit filed by the American group.

The U.S. band, which is not signed to a record label, has reportedly used the name One Direction since 2009, even filing an application to trademark the title in early 2011. According the band’s attorney, Peter Ross, the duplicate name has created confusion and damaged the U.S. band’s goodwill.

The California group has filed a trademark infringement suit against SyCo Entertainment—Cowell’s record label—and Sony Music, seeking an injunction and $1 million in damages.

Musical name disputes are nothing new, as The Hollywood Reporter points out. Pink Floyd changed its name from The Tea Set after discovering another band had the same name, and The Grateful Dead abandoned its original moniker, The Warlocks. But One Direction’s popularity could make a potential name change more difficult.

Read more on the story at Reuters.

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