Lawsuits erupt over One Direction name

One Direction, the UK version.  Photo / AP
One Direction, the UK version. Photo / AP

Simon Cowell is countersuing an American group named One Direction.

The music mogul's company Syco have hit back at the Californian punk band - who share the name of the British boy band he put together on The X Factor in 2010 - accusing them of trying to "cash in" on the success of the One Thing hitmakers following their legal action in April.

In the suit, it was claimed the US group have been "continuously and consistently been utilising the ONE DIRECTION Mark since ODUK made its public debut on the popular British television programme The X Factor in the fall of 2010".

The US One Direction had claimed to have been using the name since 2009 and applied to trademark the name long before the British band, and are also suing Syco and Sony Music for $1 million in damages, as well as claiming they are entitled to profits made by the UK group, arguing they were suffering "substantial confusion and substantial damage" because of the British act.

However, Syco hit back saying: "[US One Direction] is guilty of fraud, oppression or malice, and by reason thereof, [UK One Direction] are, in addition to their actual damages, entitled to recover punitive damages."

The American band's attorney Peter Ross accuse Syco of trying to "intimidate" his clients.

He told The Hollywood Reporter: "It looks like we got defendants' attention. This is the response we expected, given who we're up against.

"An effort is being made to intimidate these young men from California. Our clients believe in their case and will not be deterred."

- Bang! Showbiz

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