Orlando, Florida, U.S.A. – Thomas McClary, co-founder of the legendary musical group The Commodores has prevailed in a much-watched proceeding to uphold his company’s ability to register “The Commodores” as a trademark throughout the European Union (EU). The proposed trademark registrations by McClary’s affiliated company, Fifth Avenue Entertainment, LLC, cover the exclusive right to give live band performances under the name “The Commodores” and aspects of sound recordings in the following countries (28): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Two of the early members of The Commodores, William King and Walter Orange, and their manager David Fish, have opposed 5th Avenue’s priority registrations, but after they failed to establish a legal and evidentiary basis for their challenge, the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) rejected the opposition in its entirety and ordered the challengers to pay 5th Avenue’s cost of representation.
The challengers have a small window to appeal the decision, and would need to overcome the deference such a decision is typically given and the deficient evidentiary record referred to by the EUIPO’s Opposition Division to be successful. The current status leaves only McClary and his company 5th Avenue with the right to use “The Commodores” band name throughout the EU.
“We are obviously pleased with this important victory,” Thomas McClary states, after the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) rejected the opposition and ordered challengers to pay 5th Avenue Entertainment’s cost of representation. “I think it shows that the law is respected in Europe when you file an application for a trademark first according to European trademark law. I am so appreciative of their legal system. Someone cannot come later with no real presence there (European Union), to try to stop you. There is fairness and justice for I am a Commodore for life.”
The court victory will allow Thomas McClary perform live music across the European Union underneath their rightful band name. It will also make it so no other band can perform underneath this title, as is common practice for bands that want to steal the audience of another popular band.
For more information, this video shows Thomas McClary’s wife’s response to this momentous decision.
Company Name: Thomas McClary
Contact Person: Kenneth Haber
Country: United States