DALLAS (CN) – A former member of the New Wave band When In Rome claims in court that two former bandmates and a talent agent are wrongfully booking themselves under the band’s name on the road.
Michael Nuttall, of Dallas, sued former bandmates Andrew Mann and Clive Farrington, both of England, and former talent agent Bobby Juarez, of Torrance, Calif., in Dallas County Court.
Nuuttall claims he holds the “When In Rome” trademark for live performances, but the defendants plan to tour under that name in the United Kingdom.
Nuttall claims Juarez worked for the band for 5 years as a touring drummer, but left acrimoniously in February 2011 after learning that Nuttall was going to replace him.
One month later, Juarez tried to register the mark When In Rome Revisited, but was rejected due to likelihood of confusion, Nuttall says.
Two months after that, Juarez hooked up with Mann and Farrington, as a talent agent and touring drummer, and began touring as the band, according to the complaint.
Nuttall claims the defendants, through counsel, told him to cease and desist letters usaging the trademark. He says the defendants sent copies of the letter to his venue representatives, web hosts and media outlets, resulting in the shtting down of websites belonging to Nuttall’s record company and talent agent.
And he claims that his planned release of a new When In Rome album, scheduled for July, has been “indefinitely postponed” due to the defendants’ interference.
“Juarez has abused and exploited his position as a talent agent by booking a band he knows to be unlawfully using the name, and at the same time, on information and belief, he has used his contacts and influence to ensure that Nuttall’s band, When In Rome, do not have an opportunity to operate their business as legitimate trademark holders,” the complaint states.
“Farrington, Mann and Juarez have engaged in a campaign of harassment and intimidation designed to inflict the maximum damage on Nuttall’s ability to peacefully enjoy his rights in the mark.”
Nuttall seeks and a temporary restraining order for trademark infringement and damages for unfair competition, dilution, false representation in commerce and tortious interference with contracts.
He is represented by Wendy B. Mills in Dallas.
When In Rome’s lone hit single, “The Promise,” reached No. 11 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1988. One year later, the band broke up.