Fight With Keith Urban for ‘Player’ Mark

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – “Baby Come Back” songwriter Peter Beckett claims Keith Urban violated his “Player” trademark in Urban’s online guitar store.
     Beckett sued the Kiwi country singer and “American Idol” host on Friday, also alleging unfair competition and dilution.
     Beckett’s soft rock band Player is best known for “Baby Come Back,” which Beckett wrote with J.C. Crowley in 1977.
     He claims that one month after he filed his worldwide trademark application for the Player band name, Urban’s Tennessee-based Guitar Monkey Entertainment applied for the Keith Urban Player trademark.
     Urban and co-defendant Home Shopping Network made the application after the band had been written into the screenplay of the daytime soap opera “General Hospital.” Beckett says the song was a “central element” of an episode and included a performance of the song by Player.
     Run by the Home Shopping Network, Urban’s PlayerbyKeithUrban website offers guitar products and a guitar course.
     Beckett estimates that Urban, Guitar Monkey and Home Shopping Network have made more than $1 million by trading off the Player name.
     “Plaintiff alleges that each of the defendants knew of plaintiff’s band named Player; they each had heard the Player branded recording of ‘Baby Come Back’ numerous times over and over; and they each decided to go ahead and change the name of their guitar line and guitar learning package to Player in order to sell more units,” the lawsuit states.
     Beckett accuses Urban of “completely disregarding” the “hard work and sweat” he put into creating the Player trademark.
     “Defendants simply didn’t care if they blurred or diluted or tarnished or infringed upon plaintiff’s Player trademark that plaintiff had worked so hard to create goodwill in over many years,” the lawsuit states.
     Beckett says Urban’s use of the mark creates confusion in the marketplace and make it difficult for him to tour and sell records.
     “If defendants are not stopped, one day consumers may come to believe that ‘Baby Come Back’ was written and performed by defendant Keith Urban or somehow associated with defendant Keith Urban instead of plaintiff Peter Beckett,” the filing states.
     Beckett is represented by Michael Machat.
     Neither Machat nor Home Shopping Network responded to requests for comment.

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