Written By: Cara O’Hanlon
Edited By: Zara Watson, Esq.
In June 2020, the band Lady Antebellum announced that they would from now on be known as “Lady A”. The band then sued Anita White, an artist who has used the name Lady A for over 20 years. The band has not sued to stop White from using the name but filed a declaratory judgement suit seeking an affirmation of the legitimacy of their trademark. White clearly has prior use of the name Lady A and may be entitled to common law rights to the trademark. However, the band’s lawyers have said that they got trademark protection for the name in 2011 after using it interchangeably with “Lady Antebellum” since 2006. This registration is incontestable since it was published and White could have opposed their application citing prior use of the mark. This makes it more difficult for White’s lawyers to now attempt to invalidate this registration.
Furthermore, a declaratory judgement suit requires reasonable suggestion of a suit from White against the band, however, there is little evidence of this and it is possible that a judge will not hear their case. NYC trademark Attorney Zara Watson predicts that “It’s unlikely that this case will actually be litigated and more likely that both parties will settle and enter into some form of co-existence agreement.”
With our help, you can avoid potential legal risks and secure your trademark. Our team will conduct a full federal, state, and common law trademark search and provide an analysis as to the registration of your mark. To learn more about how to properly protect your brand or business, click here to schedule a free consultation.
**This information is for informational purposes only, no attorney-client privilege has been formed.