24 August 2011

Bucks Fizz Dispute

The UK IPO has made its mind up about which members of the 80s pop group Bucks Fizz can claim the name as their own.

Rival members of the band, Mike Nolan and Cheryl Baker on one side and Bobby G on the other, have fought it out to determine who can use the name during their respective bands’ tours of out-of-season holiday camp 80s weekends.

In 2001 Nolan wrote a letter passing the rights to Bobby G who then obtained a registered trade mark for the name. In 2009 Nolan and Baker started touring again calling themselves The Original Bucks Fizz and complained that Bobby G’s use of the name was misleading as he was the only original member of the band.

The UK IPO found this to be an arbitrary distinction (two original members is ok but one is not) because the public would not expect the group performing as Bucks Fizz to have the original line-up. Ultimately Bobby G has registered the trade mark and is entitled to use it.

This shows how important it is to register trade marks, and where partnerships are concerned, for example in bands and pop groups, to have written agreements in place at the outset so all parties retain equal rights in the name.

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