Watch out, Michelle Obama — don’t let the wrong One Direction into the White House!
The First Lady’s favorite X Factor-spawned British boy band is seeing their label, the Simon Cowell-run Syco Entertainment, and Sony Music get sued for $1 million by an American band also called One Direction.
The litigious American group – who are unsigned but modestly successful on iTunes (their album The Light has been on sale since February 2011) – contend that the more popular 1D’s stateside activities are causing consumer confusion. The Today show, for example, recently played the domestic Direction’s song “2012” while welcoming the foreign Direction onto the program.
“Rather than change their name or do anything to create confusion or avoid damage to our goodwill, they chose to press ahead and come on their tour,” says lawyer Peter Ross on behalf of the homegrown One Direction.
Ross is seeking an injunction for the Billboard-besting Brits to change their name, claiming that Cowell’s boys were aware of the redundancy when they filed an application with the U.S. Trademark Office. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the case is now with the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.
As THR also notes, there’s a rich history of bands changing their appellation to avoid panic and mass confusion. Dinosaur Jr., Galaxie 500, Death From Above 1979, and the Charlatans U.K. have all added their suffixes after other similarly named entities voiced their concerns, while Pearl Jam, Chicago, and David Bowie have also altered their names due to existing conflicts.