ORLANDO, Fla. (CN) – A plan by Lionel Richie’s former bandmate for a Commodores revival poses no immediate threat to the holder of the original group’s trademarks, a federal judge ruled.
Grammy-nominated guitarist and songwriter Thomas McClary co-founded The Commodores with Lionel Richie. The band, originally called The Mystics, became one of the biggest acts of the 1970s after opening for The Jackson 5 while on tour and signing with Motown.
After spending 15 years as the lead guitarist and songwriter for The Commodores, McClary left the band in the early ’80s to pursue a solo career. Earlier this year, he founded The Commodores Featuring Thomas McClary, a band McClary’s website calls “the hottest band of 2014,” which performs Commodores songs.
Commodores Entertainment Corp., which owns the marks for the original Commodores, sued McClary for federal trademark infringement. In asking for a temporary restraining order against McClary’s new band, the plaintiff argued that McClary’s “misleading advertisements and marketing efforts” caused it irreparable harm.
U.S. District Judge Roy Dalton Jr. agreed that the alleged trademark infringement could be harmful but noted there was no evidence McClary’s act would cause the trademark holder “imminent” or “immediate” harm.
The judge set a preliminary injunction hearing for Sept. 10, directing the parties to file all briefs and responses by Sept. 3.
Representatives for the parties did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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