Fayetteville fans of Van Halen may wonder: Should the drummer’s ex-wife should be allowed to use her married last name for commercial purposes? The answer would be no, according to business litigation filed by the band, which claimed that Kelly Van Halen was diluting the name’s brand by using it to sell her line of swimsuits, children’s blankets and interior design services. Kelly Van Halen, nee Carter, was married to drummer Alex Van Halen from 1984 to 1996.
The drummer’s ex-wife was reported to never have given up using her married surname, which was now put front and center in promoting the new design business that carried that name. According to court documents, Kelly Van Halen applied in 2010 for two multi-class intend-to-use trademarks incorporating her name. They were said to be intended for use on a wide range of offerings, including pillows, blanket and armoires. Also to bear the trademark would be her interior design and construction management services as well as the installation of solar-thermal systems. The band claimed that the trademark was confusingly similar to their trademarks in appearance, sound and commercial impression.
Through their intellectual property holding company, the band accused Kelly Van Halen of intentionally violating their rights and claimed that if her products bore her name as a trademark, that would constitute trademark infringement and dilution, false designation and unfair competition with merchandise offered under their own trademark.
Whether business disputes are between rock bands and ex-wives or between more down-to-earth parties, business litigation might go more smoothly with the advice and counsel of a Fayetteville, North Carolina, lawyer. Corporate disputes such as allegations of breach of contract or unfair competition may be handled with professional efficacy by an attorney with a background in contract disputes.
Source: The Guardian, “A Van Halen swim ‘suit’? Rockers sue drummer’s ex-wife in name dispute“, Sean Michaels, October 17, 2013