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Van Halen sues ex-wife for trademark infringement

Intellectual property laws may not seem like something the band Van Halen would be into but a recent lawsuit filed by the famous rock band shows why different types of groups and organizations should understand how intellectual property laws can protect their best interests.

Van Halen recently filed a lawsuit against a band member's ex-wife for using her last name in a business venture. Kelly Van Halen, the ex-wife of drummer Alex Van Halen, is facing a lawsuit from the company that represents the band's intellectual property, ELVH Inc.

The lawsuit claims that the ex-wife is illegally exploiting the band's famous name, Van Halen, to use in her interior design and construction company name. The lawsuit says that the ex-wife tried to use "Kelly Van Halen" for her company by filing two trademark applications for the name. The lawsuit says that her trademark is too similar to the band Van Halen and would confuse consumers. 

ELVH said in the lawsuit that using "Kelly Van Halen" would likely lead to confusion about where the goods came from and "cause unfair competition for the band's brand." 

It is not unusual for an ex-wife to keep her married name after a divorce. However, the band is questioning if it is legal for the ex-wife to use the band's name in her own commercial company. The lawsuit is asking for the court to prohibit the ex-wife from suing the name commercially. It is also asking for all the profits made from the alleged trademark infringement.

This lawsuit is an example of the legal action individuals or companies can take against other people for trademark and intellectual property infringement. 

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Van Halen sues members' ex-wife over commercial use of last name," Ryan Faughnder, Oct. 17, 2013

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