(CN) – The former lead singer for alternative rock band Live, which released a slew of hits in the 1990s, used the band’s name without permission to launch his solo career, according to a lawsuit filed by the company that holds the band’s trademarks, and is owned by the other band members.
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Patrick Dahlheimer, Chad Gracey, Chad Taylor and Ed Kowalczyk formed Live in 1991 and founded United Action Front Unlimited to hold the band’s trademark, according to the complaint in federal court in Manhattan. The four original members are equal shareholders in United Action, though lead singer Kowalczyk left the band in 2009 and was replaced by Chris Shinn.
The band members are not individual plaintiffs.
Live has released seven albums, and has sold “tens of millions of albums and hundreds of thousands of concert tickets” under United Action’s license, according to the lawsuit.
The band’s hit songs include “Lightning Crashes,” “Lakini’s Juice” and “Selling the Drama.”
Shortly after his exit from the band, Kowalczyk launched a tour under the banner “Ed Kowalczyk of Live,” the lawsuit states.
United Action claims Kowalczyk has no right to mention the name “Live” to promote his concerts, and says Kowalczyk neglects to inform the public that he is no longer a member of the band, or that his performances are not linked to the band.
United Action demands treble damages for trademark infringement and unjust enrichment and “corrective advertising to dispel any confusion that may have been created by defendant Kowalczyk’s use of the trademark Live.”
It is represented by Christine Lepera and Jeffrey Movit with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp in New York.