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Here Comes the Suit: The Beatles Allege Trademark Infringement in Florida | Daily Business Review

Here Comes the Suit: The Beatles Allege Trademark Infringement in Florida | Daily Business Review

Here Comes the Suit: The Beatles Allege Trademark Infringement in Florida | Daily Business Review
November 21
09:03 2019

A London company owned by former members of English rock band The Beatles and their successors has lawyered up in South Florida. They’re gearing to fight a group of defendants who have allegedly earned substantial profits by selling products featuring trademarked phrases “The Beatles,” “Beatles” and “Yellow Submarine.”

Plaintiff Apple Corps Ltd. is owned by Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and the estates of John Lennon and George Harrison. It was founded in 1968 as a business venture that combined music, films, fashion and electronics, and now continues to hold licensing rights for the band’s brand and music.

A second plaintiff, Subafilms Ltd., is an affiliated film production company that owns the rights to “Yellow Submarine,” a cartoon film made in 1967.

Apple Corps has also butted heads with tech giant Apple Inc. over trademark infringement in what became a long and winding road of lawsuits spanning 30 years and resulting in a string of settlement agreements.

The defendants in this case, described as “individuals, partnerships and unincorporated associations,” are accused of trademark, counterfeiting and infringement, false designation of origin, common law unfair competition and common law trademark infringement.

The lawsuit alleges they have duped and confused Floridians by selling counterfeit goods that are similar to those available at The Beatles Store, using domain names and seller IDs established with false or misleading information.

The defendants remained anonymous as of press time. Plaintiff attorneys Stephen M. Gaffigan, Virgilio Gigante and T. Raquel Wiborg-Rodriguez of Stephen M. Gaffigan in Fort Lauderdale have asked the court to file their names under seal to prevent them from “prematurely receiving notice” of the plaintiff’s investigation “into the operation of their illegal businesses.”

“In light of the illicit nature of the counterfeiting business and the ability of counterfeiters to practically eliminate their evidentiary trails by conducting their business entirely over the internet, plaintiffs have good reason to believe that providing advance notification of plaintiffs’ claims would cause defendants to hide or transfer their ill-gotten assets, inventory and related records beyond the jurisdiction of this court and thereby thwart the court’s ability to grant meaningful relief,” the plaintiffs motion said.

Gaffigan, Gigante and Wiborg-Rodriguez did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit says Apple Corps registered “The Beatles” trademark for watches, headwear, sweatshirts, T-shirts and shirts in February 1993, and registered ”Beatles” for use on more than 150 other types of products, including jewelry, bags, stationery and homeware in July 2013. Subafilms claims it registered “Yellow Submarine” in November 2007 for use on household linen, bedspreads, sheets, pillow cases and towels.

The Beatles appear unwilling to “let it be” in this instance, instead seeking an injunction, damages, profits, attorney fees and costs.

U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in the Southern District of Florida will preside over the litigation.

Read the complaint:

Source: Here Comes the Suit: The Beatles Allege Trademark Infringement in Florida | Daily Business Review

About Author

Martin Nethercutt

Martin Nethercutt

Martin A Nethercutt is a writer, singer, producer and loves music. Creative Director at McCartney Studios Editor-in-Chief at McCartney Times Creator-in-Chief at Geist Musik President (title) at McCartney Multimedia, Inc. Went to Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Kassel Lives in Playa del Rey From Kassel, Germany Married to Ruth McCartney

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