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Thursday, June 20, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Creedence Out of Tune With Fogerty

RENO, Nev. (CN) - The surviving members of Creedence Clearwater Revival claim in court that co-founder John Fogerty violates the band's trademark and breached a court settlement by publishing critical remarks.

Bass player Stuart Cook and drummer Douglas Clifford, who continue performing as Creedence Clearwater Revisited, sued Fogerty on Dec. 5 in Federal Court, claiming the gravelly-voiced singer-writer-guitarist is using the Creedence Clearwater Revival trademark without permission.

Also suing is Patricia Fogerty, the widow of rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty and the executrix of his estate; Poor Boy Productions; and Creedence Clearwater Revival.

Creedence Clearwater Revival claims it owns its eponymous trademark.

In a federal complaint in 1996, John Fogerty challenged the Creedence Clearwater Revisited name under which Cook and Clifford continue touring. Patricia Fogerty also was named as a defendant.

Fogerty initially won an injunction against his former bandmates touring as Creedence Clearwater Revisited, but the 9th Circuit Court reversed in an unpublished opinion in 1997, according to the new lawsuit.

Both sides then reached a settlement. Fogerty agreed to withdraw his objection to the band's use of Creedence Clearwater Revisited in exchange for compensation. Clifford, Cook and Patricia Fogerty agreed not to authorize any third parties to use the Creedence Clearwater Revival mark, according to the complaint.

Cook and Clifford say they abided by the settlement and paid the money due to Fogerty. But they claim that Fogerty in 2011 breached the agreement in an interview published by the website UltimateClassicRock.com in which he criticized the band's use of the Creedence Clearwater Revisited name.

In the interview, Fogerty allegedly said the band's touring name "really confuses the fans" and "using the name is sort of a sacrilege."

Cook and Clifford say they still paid Fogerty for his share of touring and merchandise for the second and third quarters of 2011 and sent a cease-and-desist letter to Fogerty's attorney demanding he stop his "malfeasance and breach of the settlement agreement." When they did not get a reply, they say, they stopped paying Fogerty his share of tour and merchandise revenue.

Clifford and Cook also claim Fogerty continues using an imitation of the Creedence Clearwater Revival mark without the band's consent.

"Fogerty's unauthorized use of 'Creedence Clearwater Revival' creates a likelihood of confusion, mistake and deception as to the affiliation, connection, association, origin, sponsorship or approval of its goods and services by or with CCR, all to CCR's irreparable loss and damage," Cook and Clifford say. "Confusion of consumers will likely occur as a result" and "CCR will suffer irreparable injury to its reputation and goodwill" if Fogerty isn't stopped.

The two bandmates say Fogerty recently demanded payment of all money owed since December 2011 and accused them and Poor Boy Productions of violating the Creedence Clearwater Revival trademark.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment, an injunction and treble damages for trademark infringement, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and bad faith.

They are represented by Michael D. Rounds, of Reno.

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