How much is a band’s name worth? Evidently millions if you’re at the top of the charts like boy band One Direction.
The band consisting of four lads from Britain – Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, and Niall Horan from Ireland – is the latest group to capture the hearts of teen girls. Originally appearing on Britain’s “X Factor” in 2010 as solo artists, the boys were convinced to perform as a group, placing third on the talent show.
But third place was enough for Simon Cowell and his Syco Entertainment company as well as Sony Music Entertainment. Two years later One Direction is experiencing massive success in the form of sold out shows, No. 1 albums and hit singles.
The group also attracted the attention of a California band that claims it has been using the name “One Direction” since 2009.
In a federal lawsuit filed in California Central District Court, the band asked for an injunction stopping Syco and Sony from using the name in all promotional materials, saying that two bands using the same name is causing “substantial confusion and substantial damage” to the California band, according to Reuters.
The suit also claims that Syco and Sony “chose to ignore the plaintiff’s rights and willfully infringed them.”
The California band also asks for money, specifically three times the profits raked in by the newly minted boy stars. Saying it had filed an application to trademark the name in February, the California One Direction says it has recorded two albums under the name.
Sony and Syco have not yet commented on the suit.