Lawsuit filed over use of The Isley Brothers trademark

The Isley Brothers are in a battle over their name. Billboard reports that Rudolph Isley has filed a lawsuit in Chicago Federal Court against his brother Ronald Isley over the trademark rights to their group’s name.

Rudolph is claiming that despite the name “The Isley Brothers” being jointly owned by both of them, Ronald alone filed for a federal trademark of the name in 2021 and it was approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

“Counsel for defendant Ronald Isley has asserted in correspondence that defendant alone has exclusive ownership of the [trade]mark,” the complaint reads. “These assertions … are false.” 

Rudolph’s suit seeks to have a judge declare the trademark rights to the name are “jointly owned” by both brothers “equally,” and he wants any revenue Ronald made from exploiting the trademark to be divided.

But in legal correspondence from before the suit was filed, lawyers for Ronald argue the trademark belongs to the person actually using the name, which is Ronald, noting Rudolph hasn’t performed with The Isley Brothers since 1986. They say for this reason, any profits Ronald made are his and shouldn’t need to be shared.

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