Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Boyz Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The American rap group, New Boyz, has experienced large success in a short period of time. The New Boyz music capitalizes on catchy beats and lyrics like:

“You’re a jerk! Jerk Jerk Jerk!” and “Tell all the homies she got bunz, bunz, bunz.” Surprisingly, the group has yet to trademark its name “New Boyz.”

In the polar opposite genre of music–Christian music, an Australian band called Newsboys has been around since 1985 and remains popular with Christian music listeners. The band registered the trademark “Newsboys” in 1994. The band recently filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the New Boyz for allegedly infringing on their trademark.

The Newsboys claim that the name “New Boyz” confuses consumers because of the similarity in sound between the two names and since the rap group also uses the name in relation to entertainment/music. Additionally, Newsboys says that the confusion created by the similar name damages the band’s reputation. The New Boyz use explicit lyrics while the Newsboys obviously use wholesome lyrics in songs such as “He Reigns” and “In Christ Alone.”

The lawsuit states that: “Plaintiff has already documented several instances of actual confusion among its customers, prospective customers and other outside observers who mistakenly assume a connection between Plaintiff and Defendant and the respective music they offer.” If a court agrees that using the name “New Boyz” creates a likelihood of confusion with the registered trademark “Newsboys,” then the rap group will have to find a new name, which may affect their recognition with fans. Then again, maybe the New Boyz are just “too cool to care.”