After a divorce — who has the right to use the couple’s last name commercially?
That’s the question involved in a trademark infringement suit filed by rock group Van Halen against Kelly Van Halen, ex-wife of the band’s drummer, Alex.
Alex and Kelly Van Halen divorced in 1996. As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Kelly filed two trademark applications for “Kelly Van Halen” for a range of products including furniture (International Class 20), interior design services (International Class 42), blankets (International Class 24), clothing (International Class 25), and more. Here’s the record from the Corsearch Platform.
ELVH, Inc., the band’s IP holding company, owns several trademarks for Van Halen, including one in International Class 25 covering clothing.
ELVH, Inc. is now suing Kelly for trademark infringement “arising out of Defendant’s unauthorized and confusingly similar use of Plaintiff’s federally registered VAN HALEN trademarks and service marks …” It goes on to say that Kelly’s trademarks are similar to Van Halen’s “in sound, appearance and commercial impression.” You can read the full complaint here.
Who do you think owns the Van Halen name?