Monday

I'LL LET YOU DECIDE IF SHE BROKE UP THE BEATLES BUT YOKO AIN'T HELPING LENNON MURPHY'S CAREER

If you weren't around then I'll spare you the details. But when the Beatles broke up it was ugly. And for many fans the blame fell squarely on the shoulders of Yoko Ono.
Fast forward through disco, punk, grunge, rap. Along comes a singer named Lennon Murphy. She achieves a certain amount of success. As the story is now reported, this singer naively went to Yoko and asked permission to use her own name to identify herself. No reply from Yoko.
Then, undoubtedly at the suggestion of her handlers, Lennon Murphy sought to register the term LENNON as a trademark in connection with her recordings and her perfomances.

Yoko gets upset. She files a petiton to cancel Lennon Murphy's federal trademark. Lennon Murphy reports all this on her Facebook page. Yoko gets dissed by the blogs. Then Yoko sends an email to the Techdirt blog saying that she would never want to prevent a young artist from using her own name, she just wanted her lawyers to explain to the Trademark Office about the unfairness of it all.

Well not exactly.

The petition to cancel Lennon Murphy's registration complains that Lennon Murhpy has purposefully sought to traffic on John Lennon's reputation and further that Lennon Murphy committed fraud when she filed her trademark application.

And Yoko can make these claims because she owns federally registred tradedmarks for the term LENNON, in connection with recordings and entertainment?

Well not exactly.

Yoko has two federally registered trademarks for the term JOHN LENNON in signature format used on items such as eyeglass cases and tote bags.

Bur wait. You don't understand. John Lennon was and is one of the most famous men of the 20th century. So his widow should be able to decide how anyone at any time uses the term lennon. Shouldn't she?

Well not exactly.

Whne brand owners overreach they do great mischief to legal doctrine.

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