After changing its name from Lady Antebellum, the grammy-winning country group Lady A has filed a lawsuit against blues singer Anita White, who also goes by Lady A, in an effort to legally dispute the blues singer’s alleged monopoly on the name.
Billboard reports that the band does not actually claim to be seeking money from the singer, but rather is suing White over her alleged “attempt to enforce purported trademarks rights in a mark that Plaintiffs have held for more than a decade,” according to the text of the lawsuit.
White, who is based in Seattle, says she has been performing under the name for decades, and told Rolling Stone back in June: “This is my life. Lady A is my brand, I’ve used it for over 20 years, and I’m proud of what I’ve done.”
“They’re using the name because of a Black Lives Matter incident that, for them, is just a moment in time. If it mattered, it would have mattered to them before. It shouldn’t have taken George Floyd to die for them to realize that their name had a slave reference to it,” said White at the time.
Billboard corroborates a claim in the lawsuit that says Lady Antebellum successfully registered “Lady A” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, for entertainment purposes, back in 2011, and later registered the name for recordings and clothing.
A copy of the lawsuit posted by Pitchfork also alleges that Lady Antebellum “started using ‘Lady A’ as a source indicator for their goods and services as early as 2006 and 2007, adopting as an official brand a name their fans began associating with the Musical Group as they rose to popularity.”
In a statement obtained by Billboard, the country group said that they decided to pursue legal actions against White “reluctantly,” and only after White and her team allegedly “demanded a $10 million payment” from them.
“When we learned that Ms. White had also been performing under the name Lady A, we had heartfelt discussions with her about how we can all come together and make something special and beautiful out of this moment,” said the country group.
“We never even entertained the idea that she shouldn’t also be able to use the name Lady A, and never will – today’s action doesn’t change that,” said the group. “Instead, we shared our stories, listened to each other, prayed and spent hours on the phone and text writing a song about this experience together. We felt we had been brought together for a reason and saw this as living out the calling that brought us to make this change in the first place. We’re disappointed that we won’t be able to work together with Anita for that greater purpose.”
The lawsuit also alleges that before 2020, “White did not challenge, in any way, Plaintiffs’ open, obvious, and widespread nationwide and international use of the LADY A mark as a source indicator for Plaintiffs’ recorded, downloadable, and streaming music and videos, Plaintiffs’ live musical performances, or Plaintiffs’ sale of souvenir merchandise.”
As The Daily Wire previously reported, White blasted the country group after they announced the name change back in June, but later accepted an apology from the band.
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