Imagine This: Yoko Ono Fighting A Lennon

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Imagine This: Yoko Ono Fighting A Lennon

Thu Feb 14, 2008 @ 11:17AM PST

Posted by Eriq Gardner

Onoyoko Yoko Ono is calling out a musician named Lennon for being just a little too cute.

Singer-songwriter Lennon Murphy started a band called Lennon and filed trademark papers on it five years ago. Ono is now petitioning the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the trademark. (Here's the petition.)

Murphy initially posted a response on his MySpace page, but it seems to have been taken down. BoingBoing, however, rescued a copy in which Murphy writes, "When I first started playing music at 14, I was known for the most part as "The Lennon Murphy Band". Not a name I was very fond of, no one could ever agree on anything so it made sense. A few months later some of the shows started being marketed using my full name as well as some that just using "Lennon." There was never really any consistency but there was well enough to justify stating that "Lennon" had been used in fact since 1997. When I signed with Arista Records in 2000 at the age of 18, a marketing decision was made to continue being known just as Lennon. In all honesty, I didn't care. I was just happy to sign a record deal, make an album, and pay my bills."

It's obvious who the more famous Lennon is, but TechDirt points out that "Yoko Ono waited until two days before the statute of limitations expired to file her complaints about the trademark, just the fact that people are arguing over whether or not a given name can be covered by trademark suggests how far lost our intellectual property laws have become."

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to

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