Court Tussle Over Jukebox Promoter's Name

LOS ANGELES (CN) - An internet radio company bearing the name of the first great promoter of the jukebox asked a federal judge to declare that it is not infringing upon the trademark of the German loudspeaker company Seeburg.
     Seeburg Music Library sued Seeburg Acoustic Line GMBH, seeking a declaratory judgment that its use of the Seeburg name does not violate federal or state trademark law.
     Seeburg Music Library streams background music for free on its internet radio website, Seeburg 1000.
     The German Seeburg makes professional grade speakers, according to the complaint.
     The German Seeburg sent the U.S. company a cease-and-desist letter in August, warning it to stop using the Seeburg mark.
     Seeburg Music Library claims the two companies' logos are markedly different, and that they operate in markets on opposite sides of the Atlantic.
     Seeburg Music says it has no plans to make or market loudspeakers, so there is "no likelihood of consumer confusion."
     But Seeburg Acoustic Line threatened to sue unless the internet station stops using the mark.
     Swedish immigrant J.P. Seeburg pioneered a line of coin-operated jukeboxes in the 1920s, and his company continued to make jukeboxes during the '40s and '50s.
     Seeburg Music Library says it continues Seeburg's "legacy" and pays "homage" by offering a free radio broadcast that exposes "younger generations to music from the jukebox era."
     It seeks declaratory judgment. It is represented by Linda Burrow with Caldwell Leslie & Proctor.
     Seeburg Acoustic Line GMBH did not immediately respond to a request for comment.