The owner of a Canadian metalwork shop called Metallica Manufacturing recently won a decision allowing it to continue using the name despite a legal challenge from the band Metallica. According to Burnaby Now, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office ruled that the Burnaby, British Columbia shop could continue to seek to trademark the name despite opposition from the rock act, who also have the name trademarked.
Owner Bill Lawson said that the name was chosen for the shop in the late '90s by his then 12-year-old niece, but that it didn't come to the band's attention until several years later when he tried to register the domain name online and lawyers for the group began asking that he change the shop's name. He first applied for the trademark in 2008, beginning a legal battle with the group's attorneys that continued until the recent decision.
- The band's lawyers argued that if the shop trademarked the name in Canada, it would lead to confusion with the group's own trademarked brand.
- But Lawson's attorneys explained that the Canadian Intellectual Property Office, in reaching its decision, reviewed evidence from both sides and concluded that there was no likelihood of confusion between the trademarks.
- Lawson said he's pleased with the legal victory but just wants to get on with his business, adding, "This is not a gloating issue. We just want to be left alone."
- The owner plans to hand the business over to his 24-year-old son Dan, who said he is a fan of the group. He stated, "I appreciate the music and what they do, but at the same time do they even know about them actually coming after us or is it their team of lawyers?"
- Metallica's legal representatives have had no comment on the matter.
JUST OUR OPINION: Sorry, Bill Lawson, but you're wrong. Metallica was a huge, well-established band by the time you opened your shop, so why would you deliberately use their name? Either the owner was being willfully arrogant or just plain stupid. And we don't want to hear anyone crying about the band's "team of lawyers" either -- anyone in the same position would want to have lawyers working for them as well. The shop owner is dead wrong in this case.
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Would you deliberately invite trouble by naming your shop after one of the biggest bands in the world?
- Is this just stupidity on the part of these business owners, or are they perhaps looking to wring some sort of settlement money out of a very wealthy band?
- How would you feel if you had a business with an original name and someone used the very same name -- knowing full well about your business?
INTERNET COMMENTS at Blabbermouth -- agree or not?
Devil's Chord wrote: "Metallica has no other meaning than the band. It's unique to them. Unlike, say Judas Priest or Iron Maiden, which were well known words before the bands. As much as it sucks, I completely understand why they'd want to protect the right to this name."
epac wrote: "Oh please. By the 90's (when this happened), Metallica were no longer some underground craze...they were a household name, right up there w/ Madonna and Bruce Springsteen! It's like me forming a company called 'Michael Jackson Window Frames' and expecting to get away with it. Seriously?"
frank_the_poet wrote: "So, a metal shop calling itself Metallica? Well, at least one of them are still producing works of metal..."
Evil_Twin wrote: "It's the band's f***ing trademark! I'm sick of these companies trying to steal the name and playing this David Vs Goliath media game. The band members are not the bad guys here!"
Read more at Blabbermouth and Loudwire
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