Artist News Legal

American court insists that the injunction banning a former Commodore from performing as the Commodores must apply globally

By | Published on Tuesday 16 July 2019

The Commodores

A judge in Florida has declined to strip back an injunction that bans Commodores co-founder Thomas McClary from using his former band’s name when performing live.

McClary has had a long running legal battle with Commodores Entertainment Corp, a company that manages the affairs of the current incarnation of the band, which counts another founder member, William King, among its membership.

At various points – most recently last year – CEC has gone to court to accuse McClary of infringing its trademarks and confusing consumers by performing under names like ‘The Commodores Experience’, ‘Commodores’ Experience’ or ‘Commodore’s Experience’. In the main, the courts have sided with CEC on its core complaints.

In the most recent phase of this long running dispute, McClary asked the court to add exceptions to a previously issued injunction that bans him from using the Commodores name. He wanted Mexico, New Zealand and Switzerland to be excluded from the ban, on the basis he had obtained the rights to the Commodores name in those countries.

But the judge knocked back McClary’s request. According to Law 360, the ruling stated: “The worldwide permanent injunction was implemented to prevent harm to plaintiff in the United States based on defendants’ use of the marks here and abroad – harm from customer confusion, dilution of the marks, and otherwise”.

“That purpose”, the ruling went on, “would be undermined if the permanent injunction masqueraded as an invitation for defendants to obtain licences to the marks at issue in foreign countries and to then perform under ‘The Commodores’ or other infringing names around the world.”

Needless to say, CEC has welcomed the latest ruling. Its legal rep, Dean Kent, told Law 360: “The ruling protects Commodores Entertainment Corporations’ intellectual property rights and should prevent Mr McClary from further seeking foreign trademarks and licences to use the Commodores name outside of the United States”.