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Ex-Employees of Songwriter Group Face Trademark Suit

NASHVILLE (CN) - Song-Writers in the Round, a company created to promote and honor the "creators of song," has accused two former employees of violating trademarks and falsely crediting themselves as the producers of its upcoming PBS television series "Legends & Lyrics," featuring artists such as Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Loggins and Patty Griffin.

According to the federal lawsuit, Sean Miller and Iris Thompson left their jobs with Song-Writers in the Round in June 2008 and launched rival One Revolution Entertainment, a business nearly identical to the plaintiff's.

Song-Writers in the Round says Miller and Thompson puffed their resumes by falsely claiming to have produced the "Legends & Lyrics" series, and used the plaintiff's trademarks, film footage and photos in a media kit promoting a new show based on the previous series.

While working for the plaintiff, Miller plugged songs and was a booking agent, while Thompson assisted the executive producer, the lawsuit claims. But the plaintiff says neither defendant actually produced the show, as they claim.

Further, while Miller was working as an independent contractor for the plaintiff, and during Thompson's employment, the defendants allegedly recruited new artists for One Revolution instead of Song-Writers in the Round. When Miller left, he allegedly called Toby Keith, Cindy Lauper and Willie Nelson to cancel scheduled interviews without the plaintiff's permission.

Song-Writers in the Round seeks a court order preventing the defendants from using its "Legends & Lyrics" trademark.

Filing counsel are Joel Galanter and Margaret Myers with Adams and Reese.

The first season of "Legends & Lyrics" airs April 1 on PBS.

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