Ex-Rascals Member Cannot Block Band Members From Using Their Names – Billboard

A former member of classic rock band The Rascals can’t stop his former bandmates from using the name on a reunion tour, a federal judge in Manhattan has ruled.

Eddie Brigati has accused two of his former band mates of breaking contracts and trademarks by using the name “Rascals” as part of a 2018 tour, but US District Judge John G. Koeltl has dismissed the charges in a ruling on Thursday.

The judge cited a number of different reasons why Brigati’s claims were legally flawed, including that Brigati – who left the group in 1970 – had long legally ‘given up’ his interest in the ‘Rascals’ brand after decades. of non-use.

“Brigati has failed to show that he had performed only once under any version of The Rascals name between 1970 and 2012,” Judge Koeltl wrote in his ruling.

The Rascals, originally The Young Rascals, were a rock band from New Jersey who released a trio of Billboard Hot 100 hits in the late 1960s: “Good Lovin ‘”, “Groovin'” and “People Got to Be Free ”. The group – Brigati, Felix Cavaliere, Gene Cornish and Dino Danelli – were completely disbanded in 1972 but toured occasionally and were subsequently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.

The current lawsuit was filed by Cavaliere and Cornish through their Beata Music LLC entity in 2018, seeking judicial approval to use “Rascals” in a reunion tour after Brigati refused to participate and walked away. opposed to their use of the name. Brigati then filed counterclaims, accusing Cavaliere and Cornish of wrongdoing in using and seeking to register the mark.

In dismissing the charges Thursday, Judge Koeltl dismissed the argument that Cavaliere and Cornish had broken contracts using the name, ruling that various agreements between the members of the group did not apply to the current situation or that Brigati n was not part of it.

Judge Koeltl also dismissed Brigati’s claim that Cavaliere and Cornish had violated trademark law, saying there was no way consumers would be confused when they read the carefully worded tour name: “Felix Cavaliere and Gene Cornish’s Rascals”. He also said Brigati simply waited far too long to file his case.

“Brigati offers no justification for her delay, and [Cavaliere and Cornish] would be harmed if Brigati were allowed to sit idly by for decades while others made productive use of the Rascals brand, only to assert claims of trademark infringement when legal action was brought against him ”, wrote the judge.

A lawyer for Brigati declined to comment on Friday, January 7. A lawyer for Cavaliere and Cornish said Billboard he was “satisfied with the tribunal’s in-depth analysis”.

“We initially brought the case to the goal of determining what combination of members could use The Rascals name for a final tour, given vague contract language. This was a limited case which gave rise to large-scale counterclaims, ”said Eric Bjorgum, of the law firm Karish & Bjorgum PC. “Our claims are technically still pending and we are reviewing our options. All in all, we are happy to have the counterclaims behind us and to have some clarification on the contractual issues that have bothered the original members for some time.

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