Friday, July 30, 2010
Black Sabbath Trademark Dispute: Ozzy vs. Iommi
Last year, Anthony “Tommy” Iommi, long-time guitarist for Black Sabbath, and Ozzy Osbourne got in contact with each other about the band. However, this new Black Sabbath collaboration didn’t involve any music. John “Ozzy” Osbourne sued Iommi for trademark infringement in the U.S. District Court (case no. 1:09-cv-04947)
Apparently, in 2000, Iommi filed a trademark application with the USPTO, to register the Black Sabbath trademark in his name only. Ozzy’s attorneys caught wind of this trademark hijacking, and filed suit in May of last year. According to the suit Ozzy was “the driving force behind the Black Sabbath band.” But Iommi referenced a 1980 agreement (when Ozzy originally left the band) in which Ozzy had surrendered his right to the band name. But in 1997, as part of the “Ozzfest” tour, Black Sabbath had reunited, and played for a couple years. Ozzy claimed this new arrangement superseded the 1980 agreement.
Fortunately, last week Ozzy and Iommi were able to settle the case on good terms. In the new agreement, all four original members of the band (including Geezer Butler and Bill Ward) are to share the trademark equally.