Earlier this week, we wrote about a dispute
over the trademark on "Lennon" between Yoko Ono and the singer Lennon Murphy. As we said, while it did seem odd that Ono waited until the very last minute to protest the trademark, the really problematic part was Murphy applying for the trademark in the first place. Yoko Ono (or, more likely, a representative of Ono) contacted us today by email to clarify her position:
"A musician named Lennon Murphy is claiming that Yoko Ono has sued her and
that Yoko is seeking to stop Lennon Murphy from performing under her name,
Lennon Murphy. Both of these claims are untrue.
Several years ago, Lennon Murphy sought Yoko's permission to do her
performances under her name, Lennon Murphy. Yoko, of course, did not object
to her request. Subsequently, without Yoko's knowledge, Lennon Murphy filed
an application in the United States trademark Office requesting the
exclusive right to utilize the name "Lennon" for musical performances.
Yoko's attorneys asked Lennon Murphy's attorneys and manager to withdraw her
registration of exclusivity to the name LENNON for the trademark. Yoko also
offered to cover all costs Lennon Murphy had incurred in filing for the
trademark. But Lennon Murphy went ahead to register.
Yoko did not sue Lennon Murphy, but sought to stop her from getting the
exclusive right to the name Lennon for performance purposes. For that,
Yoko's attorneys, simply notified the Trademark office that Yoko did not
believe it was fair that Ms. Murphy be granted the exclusive right to the
"Lennon" trademark in relation to musical and entertainment services. As you
can see, this is a very important issue for Yoko and the Lennon family.
Yoko says: "I am really hurt if people thought that I told a young artist to
not use her own name in her performances and had sought to sue her. I did no
such thing. I hope this allegation will be cleared."
Thank you for your kind attention,
So there we have it. In retrospect, this actually looks like a rather lame publicity stunt by Lennon Murphy, first registering for a trademark on the name, and then complaining about Ono's request to the USPTO not to grant it.