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why you should ensure your brands are held by a single, continuing entity

5 March 2010

The Sugababes show us how ownership could go round round

Heated rows between pop artists are often as frequent and as transient as their hits. The ownership of the groups’ names and the right to perform under a particular trade mark often provide the backdrop to disharmony. Just ask Liberty X, The Nolan Sisters or The Rubettes among others.

And so the ever changing face of the pop group Sugababes has perhaps unsurprisingly led to potential disputes about the right to use the brand SUGABABES. The word on the street is that former band member Keisha Buchanan, who was a founder member of the group, appears to be on the verge of suing the current line up of the ‘babes to prevent their use of the brand going forwards. Meanwhile another founder (and former) member Mutya Buena has filed a Community Trade Mark application for the SUGABABES trade mark.

Does this mean we are about to see a reunion of the founder members of one of the UK’s most successful girl bands?

The potential disputes which may follow between the current line up and the original group members demonstrate the clear advantages of having a single consistent entity owning the registered and unregistered rights to a brand, particularly where, as in the case of a pop group, the nature and personnel of the external face of the entity changes frequently. Question is though, which girl will be first to push the button?

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