You obviously have heard of and swooned over British boy band One Direction, but have you heard of American band One Direction? They hail from California, have been around since 2009 and have released two albums. And yet it is nearly impossible to find out anything about them, since googling “One Direction” pretty much only brings up articles about the UK group.
And, as reported in April, for that reason exactly, the Cali act is suing the Brit band (as well as Syco Entertainment and Sony Music) to stop them from using the name they claim they used first. They also demand that they be awarded a percentage of 1D’s profits and $1 million in compensatory damages. The lawsuit is about to get even more dramatic and complicated, as the The X Factor-created boy band is firing back, countersuing the US group for using the One Direction name.
In April of this year, the California band sued the UK outfit, claiming that Sony and Syco were aware of their existence in America, but decided to go ahead with the name anyway. As a result, the US group has suffered “substantial confusion and substantial damage.”
Now the British act is countersuing the Cali-based One Direction, claiming that they have full rights to the name in the US.
“There is a dispute with a local group in Northern California about the ownership of the One Direction name in the U.S,” reads a statement by the rep for the UK group. “Despite One Direction’s management’s attempts to resolve the situation amicably, the Californian group are continuing with their lawsuit claiming that they own the name in the U.S.”
“One Direction’s lawyers have now had to file an Answer and Counterclaim in order to defend and assert the band’s right to use their name. The Answer and Counterclaim makes it clear that it is One Direction who have prior rights to the name in the U.S. as it was One Direction who used the name in interstate commerce in the US first.”
It seems pretty obvious to the rest of us that the “What Makes You Beautiful” chart-toppers won’t be changing their name anytime soon (or handing over any of their hard-earned profits). But how about the British boys give the Cali band some of their pocket money to order new t-shirts that read Second Direction and call it a day?
[Via Rolling Stone]