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Trademark Fight: Yoko v. Lennon?

On Tuesday, Techdirt  conveyed news that Yoko Ono had filed "what is essentially a lawsuit" with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office attempting to force musician Lennon Murphy to give up her trademark over the name "Lennon." That post was based on Murphy's own Feb. 7 post to her MySpace blog in which she said that she'd received notice of Ono's action against her for cancellation of the trademark. "This could very well mean the career that I have worked so hard at, the one you all have believed in, may come to an end," Murphy wrote.

Yesterday, Techdirt posted an update after receiving an e-mail from Ono (or someone on her behalf) offering her side of the dispute:

Several years ago, Lennon Murphy sought Yoko's permission to do her performances under her name, Lennon Murphy. Yoko, of course, did not object to her request. Subsequently, without Yoko's knowledge, Lennon Murphy filed an application in the United States trademark Office requesting the exclusive right to utilize the name 'Lennon' for musical performances. Yoko's attorneys asked Lennon Murphy's attorneys and manager to withdraw her registration of exclusivity to the name LENNON for the trademark. Yoko also offered to cover all costs Lennon Murphy had incurred in filing for the trademark. But Lennon Murphy went ahead to register.

Yoko did not sue Lennon Murphy, but sought to stop her from getting the exclusive right to the name Lennon for performance purposes. For that, Yoko's attorneys, simply notified the Trademark office that Yoko did not believe it was fair that Ms. Murphy be granted the exclusive right to the 'Lennon' trademark in relation to musical and entertainment services. As you can see, this is a very important issue for Yoko and the Lennon family.

The e-mail added that Yoko is "really hurt if people thought I told a young artist to not use her own name in her performances and had sought to sue her."

Based on the TTAB file, Ono's request is to cancel Murphy's registration of the word "Lennon." Ono, meanwhile has twice registered the name "John Lennon." She is represented by Dorothy M. Weber of Shukat Arrow Hafer Weber & Herbsman in New York.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 15, 2008 at 09:41 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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