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Yoko to Rocker -- Ono You Can't Use Your Name!

2/11/2008 3:36 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

A hard-working heavy-metal-rocker is in danger of losing her musical identity -- all because Yoko Ono wants to bring a silver hammer down on her for using the name Lennon.
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Lennon Murphy, a singer-songwriter whose band is called Lennon, has been sued by Yoko for "tarnishment" of her widow's name and for "fraudulently" registering the name as a trademark.

Ono, claims in court papers that Murphy is (intentionally) exploiting the name and confusing people by using it -- and wants her trademark canceled.

Murphy shoots back on her MySpace page that Yoko and her lawyer were asked back in 2000 about using the name for her debut CD on Arista Records, and they didn't object. Lennon (the band) has since been dropped by Arista, but continues to record. "If Yoko prevails," writes Lennon Murphy, "Lennon might never be able to tour or release records using the name Lennon."
207 COMMENTS

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46.

Merf    

She should sue Sean and Julian, too. Their music is criminally using the "good name" of John Lennon for their own selfish promotion.

2356 days ago
47.

Twinker    

Imagine there's no Yoko.....

She's one angry control freak..totally opposite of John (RIP)

2356 days ago
48.

Kat    

What do you mean "doubles as a trademark"? A person can't own a last name.

2356 days ago
49.

merks    

how could all those bullets hit john and not one could hit yoko? she is the most useless piece of talent out there.

2356 days ago
50.

lennon c.    

my name IS lennon. my parent's inspiration came from john. but if i wanted to start a band, i could name it lennon. after ME. period. end of story. yoko sucks.

2356 days ago
51.

Kat    

Do you mean if they try and capitalize from the name or doing it for the sole purpose so that people think of the name such as Sinatra? I need some legal people here...

2356 days ago
52.

Steelie    

Good Day,

I am with you on that one Rowan. What about any other business that uses the name "Lennon"? Sue all of them too? I can see it... "Lennon Plumbing sued by Yoko. Claims plumbing wasn't John's thing. It tarnishes his name." If I were the judge I would throw this out, have Yoko pay all legal and court costs for both parties and perhpas even a bit of punitive damegaes to the band.

Steelie

2356 days ago
53.

Kat    

I don't know if she has that much basis for a suit. If my real last name were "Lennon" and I open a restaurant called Lennons, is that enough ground for her to sue me?

2356 days ago
54.

Cheryl    

For christ sake - it IS the woman's name - Yoko - get a grip and get over yourself!!

2356 days ago
55.

lawyerchick    

Yoko has to sue. Trademark owners have to enforce their trademarks by suing thoses with confusing trademarks, if they don't they loose the right to theirs. Its just like the Andy Griffith guy who changed his name to Andy Griffith in a sad attempt at getting more votes in a mayoral race, Andy HAD to sue, even though the guy was a wack job and didn't really threaten Andy's entertainment endeavors. If he wouldn't have, he would have lost his rights to the use of "Andy Griffith". So, you go Yoko, preserve your inherited intellectual property rights!

2356 days ago
56.

Truthful    

If the name doubles as a trademark that most people associate with a specific person or entity, then yeah...you can. I refer you again to the case of Frank Sinatra suing a guy named Sinatra for opening a restaurant called Sinatra's. That was the restaurant owner's real last name. Was born with it and had it all his life. Yet Frank won the case, and the decision was upheld on appeal. Because most people associate the name Sinatra with the singer, and the court recognized that the restaurant name caused reasonable confusion and infringed on the Frank Sinatra trademark.

So yeah, you can.

2356 days ago
57.

SouthernMom    

Yoko is alive?
Yoko, honey please, John is dead, most of the people who listened to his music are in nursing homes recovering from LSD flashbacks, acid burnout and nobody cares. Get a job and stop mooching off of his name.

2356 days ago
58.

lucy    

Well it's important that Yoko get this done because John Lennon was John before the girl was named Lennon not to mention the leagundary R&B Funk, rock pop group RUFUS / RUFUS featuring CHAKA KHAN. RUFUS WAINWRIGHT is name RUFUS but he could not use the name RUFUS alone and if you will notice a** h**** he has repect and RUFUS the band has rights over his name they have been doing there thing before Wainright was born!!!!!!!!!!!! GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT PEOPLE that's what's wrong with America we think we can do what ever we want without anyone saying NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!!

2356 days ago
59.

lawyerchick    

Or the MacDonald's family opening a small family restaurant.
McDonald's sued them and the fact it was their name, and spelt differently was of no consequence.

2356 days ago
60.

Kat    

Thanks pokey and lawyerchick.

2356 days ago
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