Greg Ginn, founder of Black Flag, has lost the injunction in his recent lawsuit against ex-band members who formed the new band Flag. The lawsuit began over the dispute of Flag using Black Flags’ likeness and mark. Read more for details.
Black Flag founder, Greg Ginn, has hit a bump in the road in his current lawsuit filed against ex-band members Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski, Bill Stevenson, and Henry Rollins. Flag, the new band consisting of Morris, Cadena, Dukowski, and Stevenson, just released a statement that Ginn has lost his preliminary injunction in the lawsuit he filed against them.In the lawsuit Greg alleges that Flag has been illegally using Black Flag’s likeness and trademark, which Flag members argued was false. Even though Henry Rollins never formerly quit Black Flag and isn’t involved in the formation of Flag, he was named in the lawsuit as well.
After the September 2013 Black Flag reunion including Greg Ginn, Ron Reyes, Gregory Moore and Dale Nixon, a judge found in court that Black Flag and Ginn’s label SST have no rights on the Black Flag copyright in this case. Although the lawsuit can still go to court, this bump in the road is leaving the bands, their fans and the music industry hanging in anticipation. Read the legalese statement released by Flag’s camp.
(1) the court found that SST had no rights in the trademarks;
(2) Ginn seemed to have no individual rights in the Black Flag trademarks;
(3) even if either had had any rights in those marks, they had abandoned those rights through a failure to police the mark for nearly 30 years;
(4) the defendants’ claim that the Black Flag assets were owned by a statutory partnership comprised of various former band members – even if these members only consisted of Henry and Ginn, based on (a) accepting Ginn’s argument that he never quit and given that there is no evidence or allegation that Henry ever quit – has merit;
(5) that even if the plaintiffs had some trademark claim in the marks, there was no likelihood of consumer confusion between Black Flag and Flag given the ample press coverage over the dispute; and
(6) the trademark application and registration that Henry and Keith made was done in good faith (e.g. not fraudulently) – and is thus not necessarily subject to cancellation – given that they understood their actions to have been done on the part of the Black Flag partnership (see No. 4, above). – Legalese statement via Flag’s camp.