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ViceVersa settle name dispute with Vice

By | Published on Thursday 16 June 2016


Vice has reached a settlement with the unsigned LA band ViceVersa, who the media firm was convinced could bring down its entire media empire simply by singing songs under a moniker that contained their name.

As previously reported, Vice sent a cease and desist letter to the band last December claiming that ViceVersa’s name and logo were too similar to that of the media company. The letter demanded that the band stop using their current name, take their website and social media pages down, and stop selling any merch containing their brand.

The cease and desist followed the United States Patent And Trademark Office giving ViceVersa’s guitarist Christopher Morales (aka Zeke Zeledon) provisional approval in his bid to trademark his band’s name. Vice also lodged a formal opposition to that application with the trademark registry, calling the dispute “a standard, cut-and-dry trademark matter”.

But ViceVersa got themselves a friendly legal rep who reckoned that the media business didn’t actually have a case to block the band from using their current moniker, telling reporters that companies “can’t normally protect commonly used words or phrases like ‘vice’, when used inside of another word or phrase that is unique”.

Conversations between the two parties continued though, and now an agreement has been reached, with ViceVersa agreeing to narrow the scope of their trademark application a little. For its part, Vice has agreed to stop sending stern legal letters.

Confirming this development, ViceVersa’s lawyer said in a statement: “After a few weeks of negotiations, the two parties have come to an amicable agreement. Changes have been made to the band’s trademark details as registered with the USPTO, thus narrowing the scope of their services. ViceVersa will continue using their name and logo as they please and Vice Media will go about their $2.5 billion business”.

For its part, Vice told Pitchfork: “We’re glad this worked out for both parties, and we wish the band the best of luck”.