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British band One Direction settles lawsuit over name

One Direction, the British boy band sensation your 12-year-old niece absolutely adores, recently settled a legal dispute that had elements that might actually be pretty familiar with Los Angeles musicians, artists and other entertainment professionals.

Earlier this year, the group was sued by an American band that also called itself "One Direction." The American band claimed that it had used the name first and that the British group's use of the same name was causing confusion, thereby scaring away fans.

One Direction, which was formed in 2010 on Simon Cowell's British TV show "The X Factor," countersued. Essentially, it claimed that the American One Direction was just trying to extort some money from the British group. After all, it's an appealing target. Its debut album went straight to the top spot on the Billboard charts (a feat other British acts like The Rolling Stones, The Beatles and The Spice Girls did not accomplish) and its ardent fan base of teenage girls has meant millions in music sales, merchandise revenue and concert tickets sold.

Recently, the two bands issued a joint press release saying that the British group will continue to use the name One Direction and the American band will now be known as Uncharted Shores. If there was any money exchanged in reaching this deal, neither side disclosed that fact.

We mention this because any Los Angeles actor, musician or model knows that one's name is a very important extension of brand and a key indicator of one's identity. That's why many people who work in the entertainment industry at least have a talk with an entertainment law attorney about practical, prudent steps they can take to protect their name and, by extension, their image and identity.

Source: BBC, "One Direction wins fight against US band to keep name," Amelia Butterly, Sept. 4, 2012

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