Van Halen sues to protect its trademark from ex-wife of drummer

Van Halen fans in Massachusetts and around the nation are taking note of a business litigation case that pits the world famous rockers against the ex-wife of the band’s drummer Alex Van Halen. At issue is a line of clothing and home goods being sold by the former Mrs. Van Halen.

Kelly Van Halen never gave up her famous surname after the breakup of the 12-year marriage in 1996 and has been using it for several years to market swimwear, blankets for children, and her interior design business. The lawsuit filed in federal court by the band claims that the new products being offered under the Kelly Van Halen name violate the band’s intellectual property and trademark rights and creates confusion in the public about who is producing the merchandise.

The lawsuit also claims that the former Mrs. Van Halen applied for the right to potentially use the Van Halen name on a host of other items such as pillows, armoires, and even solar panels. The band maintains that using their name on any merchandise would serve to dilute their trademark and falsely imply their endorsement. They are requesting the California federal court to stop the sale of the disputed products and award all monies earned from the products to the band retroactively.

An owner of a trademark, trade name or other intellectual property that feels it is being infringed upon and used without permission may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in business litigation. The attorney may be able to pursue compensation and other appropriate relief for the client through settlement or at trial.

Source: Guardian, “A Van Halen swim ‘suit’? Rockers sue drummer’s ex-wife in name dispute“, Sean Michaels, October 17, 2013