America’s One Direction Vow To Fight Cowell Over British Namesakes

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April 12, 2012 | 7:31am EST

The manager of Californian’s One Direction has hit out at Simon Cowell over his hit British boy band, insisting the U.S. group is “not going to be pushed around” in their ongoing name battle.
An American group with the same name as Cowell’s latest pop sensation – formed on Britain’s The X Factor in 2010 – is suing his company Syco Entertainment and Sony Music claiming fans and the media are getting the two bands confused.

The less popular One Direction – who don’t even have a record deal – want $1 million in damages and the dispute is now in the hands of America’s Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.

Manager Dan O’Leary, who is the father of the American group’s lead singer Sean, is adamant the U.S. band will not back down.

He tells Britain’s The Sun, “I don’t care how powerful Simon Cowell is. He’s mad if he thinks we’re going to lie down, sit down or back down over this – whatever power and money he has behind him. We’re not going to be pushed around by some music mogul.

“The British One Direction have Mr Cowell’s enormous resources behind them. We on the other hand do not. In our view, we were here first. We have rights, we have talent, and we have heart. My boy’s dreams and the dreams of the band are just as important as the dreams of Cowell’s group.

“The facts are that we were first to use the name One Direction. We’ve been using it since November 2009… The British band did not come together as a group until almost a year later. We were the first to record an album. We hope that this dispute will be resolved soon, and then all of us can focus on what we do best – making music.”

A spokesperson for the British One Direction says, “One Direction’s management tried to resolve the situation amicably when the matter first came to light, but the Californian group has now filed a lawsuit claiming they own the name.

“One Direction’s lawyers now have no choice but to defend the lawsuit and the band’s right to use their name.”

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