LENNON – Yoko Ono Let It Be
Lennon Murphy, lead singer of the band LENNON, has reportedly received notice of an intended lawsuit filed on behalf of Yoko Ono, widow of former Beatle star and English rock musician John Lennon.
Posted on LENNON‘s site:
Yesterday I received notice that Yoko Ono had filed a law suit against me, asking for a cancellation of the trademark that I own for the name “Lennon.”
Lennon Murphy (her Christian name given to her at birth) has played under the name LENNON since as early as 1997. In 2000, a product manager for Arista records contacted Yoko Ono and the John Lennon estate regarding the release of LENNON’s debut CD 5:30 Saturday Morning under the name “LENNON”. Consequently, the album was released and a trademark request was filed on April 11, 2001. In 2003, Lennon Murphy was granted ownership of the trademark LENNON for musical use by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Yoko’s lawyers are now objecting to the use of LENNON, claiming that it creates a “likelihood of confusion” and “dilutes” the word mark of “John Lennon” and causes damages to that name. A copy of the claim can be viewed here.
The Petition for Cancellation claim was filed against the trademark registration granted to Lennon Murphy with the Trademark and Trial Board of the US Patent and Trademark Office supposedly just two days before the statute of limitations ran out.
I’ve been a fan of LENNON for years and I have to say that I’ve never noted any promotion done by them to intentionally cause confusion with John Lennon or to take advantage of any correlation of names with regard to John Lennon’s fame. The most I’ve seen are casual mentions such as you will find on her site (which has been there as long as I can remember) like “The New York-born Nashville-bred girl named after, yes, John Lennon, headed to Sanford, Florida in mid-2002 to work on what would become Damaged Goods.” It’s given as more of an answer to a question that will likely be asked (as you can imagine), and not as a boastful or flagrant “I was named after John Lennon!”. (In fact, Lennon has been said to not be a fan of the music of The Beatles or John Lennon.)
I can’t imagine anyone listening to LENNON or seeing their promotional items that would think “Oh, this must be for/by John Lennon”. Their music couldn’t be more different. LENNON has kept such company as Alice Cooper, the Warped Tour, Otep, The Cult, the Girlz Garage Tour, Heart and Mushroomhead. Hardly John Lennon-ish. Lennon’s hardcore. She’s raw and dark. She’s individual and original. She’s a rock artist. Although Lennon has some similarities with John Lennon, in her love and devotion to her music and the way she lives her life with her what you see is what you get honesty, their musical styles couldn’t be more different.
For those not familiar with the musical band LENNON and Lennon Murphy, you can find out more about them by visiting the following links:
LENNON :: Damaged Goods
Regardless of how you feel about LENNON, John Lennon, or Yoko Ono, you have to ask yourself is this right? Is this fair? Is there any merit in the filing or is it just motivated by greed?
*Lennon was named at birth by her mother after John Lennon. As her late mother, Kathleen Murphy, wrote to Lennon: “How odd to name a child after a gentle songwriter who loved his son and baked bread, what joy my lennon brings me.”