Brit boy band, One Direction, may have no direction, if the lawsuit Simon Cowell’s record label has just been hit with is successful: (Via The Hollywood Reporter)
Cowell’s record label, Syco Entertainment, and Sony Music have just been hit with a $1 million lawsuit that says that One Direction (U.K.) can’t navigate itself into U.S. jurisdiction without causing consumer confusion and destroying the goodwill of the U.S.-based doppelganger. As proof of the confusion, the plaintiffs point to a recent segment on NBC’s Today, where the British teen-scream group was shown, accompanied accidentally by music from the U.S. band. So now One Direction (U.K.) is being threatened with losing its name.
One Direction, original flavah, isn’t signed to a record label, but have been selling their album The Light on iTunes since February 2011.
Their attorney, Peter Ross, maintains that Simon Cowell should have known better.
The attorney says that One Direction (U.K.) was made aware of One Direction (U.S.) when it attempted to file an application with the U.S. Trademark Office. (The matter is now before the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.) “Rather than change their name or do anything to create confusion or avoid damage to our goodwill, they chose to press ahead and come on their tour,” says Ross.
On the other hand, the band’s music has been selling nicely on iTunes, perhaps due to people who stumble upon it by accident. The band uploaded a song, “2012”, to You Tube and it has over 100k views.
Simon has had naming issues in the past. X Factor UK winners, Little Mix, were originally called Rythmix. They changed their name due to a dispute with a Brighton-based children’s music charity of the same name. But that was before the competition had barely begun.
Simon’s One Direction is already mega-successful. It would be tough to mess with the branding at this point. Simon will fight it, or pay the original 1D a lot of money to go away, I suspect.