LAWFUEL – Law News That Rocks – Battle over Supernova name settled: Tommy Lee’s Group Changes Name
After injunction, band formed on CBS reality show
agrees to be called “Rock Star Supernova”
San Diego, CA, (September 21, 2006) – An Orange County, California rock and roll band has settled its trademark dispute with reality television magnate Mark Burnett over the use of the “Supernova” trademark. Under the terms of the settlement, the Orange County rockers will continue to retain the rights to the name “Supernova.” Burnett’s band, which is anchored by drummer Tommy Lee and the recently named reality show contestant Lukas Rossi as lead singer, may use the name “Rock Star Supernova” – the name of the CBS TV reality show which gave birth to the new band. The remaining settlement terms are confidential.
“Our client, the original Supernova band, is glad this matter has been resolved,” said John A. Mizhir, Jr. of the law firm of Fish & Richardson P.C. “The guys are looking forward to once again concentrating on their music. This case has been a perfect example of how the legal system can and should work. Under the law, everyone has equal rights, no matter how big or small.”
In June of this year, Supernova filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against CBS Broadcasting, Mark Burnett Productions, Lee, and others after settlement negotiations broke down. The suit alleged trademark infringement arising from the defendants’ use of the “Supernova” trademark in connection with a rock and roll band. On September 12, shortly before the finale of the TV show, U.S. District Court Judge John A. Houston granted plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction barring Burnett from using the “Supernova” mark.
Founded in 1989 in Costa Mesa, California, plaintiff Supernova is made up of Jodey Lawrence, Arthur Mitchell, and David Collins. The band has released three full-length albums and has toured the United States extensively, participating in the Vans Warped Tour in 1995 and again in 1999.
“Rock Star: Supernova” was a network TV show in which 15 relatively unknown singers competed for the position of lead vocalist in a new band made up of Motley Crue drummer Tommy Lee, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted, and one-time Guns n’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke. Their original plan was to call the new band “Supernova,” prompting the suit by the earlier Supernova rock band.
Mizhir, Anthony L. Fletcher, and Gregory M. Krakau, all with Fish & Richardson, represented the plaintiff band Supernova in the action.