A yr and a half after shedding a 4-day trial, former Commodores guitarist, and founding member, Thomas McClary was dealt a blow by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
McClary used the Commodores identify for his band in 2014. Not surprisingly, the surviving members of the Commodores (that by no means left the band) filed a lawsuit in opposition to McClary claiming trademark infringement, and have been awarded a everlasting injunction. On enchantment, the everlasting injunction was affirmed.
The Band Partnership
While a artistic particular person’s curiosity in an concept or work would not essentially finish after they stroll away, beneath the band’s personal partnership settlement, that is precisely what occurs and occurred. By quitting the band, McClary needed to disclaim the precise to make use of the identify, and the courtroom discovered this settlement binding.
The appellate courtroom relied closely on the truth that (two years earlier than the group received a Grammy) McClary left the group in 1984 to be able to pursue a solo profession, very like Lionel Richie, who left the band two years earlier to seek out main success as a solo artist. In addition to the clear lack of McClary from the band after 1984, the courtroom additionally relied on a letter allegedly penned by McClary that mentioned he was leaving the band.
On enchantment, McClary appeared to tug out the kitchen sink and tried to make something stick, however failed. And whereas he could also be trying to request en banc rehearing, or search High Court evaluate, it is most likely not more likely to occur because the case won’t be too sizzling ta trot. As the appellate panel succinctly defined: “While an individual might identify with a name, he still might not have the right to use that name to identify himself in commerce.”