BLACK FLAG‘s founding guitarist Greg Ginn has released a statement explaining his decision to file a lawsuit against his former bandmates for alleged copyright infringement.
Ginn claims the members of the recently formed band FLAG — Keith Morris, Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski and Bill Stevenson — have infringed the BLACK FLAG name and infamous logo, calling FLAG “a colorable imitation” that’s “likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception among consumers.”
Also named in the lawsuit, which was filed on August 2 in Federal District Court, is former BLACK FLAG singer Henry Rollins, who is not part of the BLACK FLAG splinter group.
Ginn, who did not actually file for trademark registration for BLACK FLAG-related marks until this past June, is seeking an injunction against FLAG‘s current tour, which kicked off in May. He also accuses his former bandmates of “lying to the Trademark Office on registrations; using his own label’s record covers to feign as though they’ve been continuing to use BLACK FLAG since 1979 and using bootleg SST t-shirts.”
In a posting on BlackFlagOfficial.com, Ginn writes: “The dispute over BLACK FLAG is not motivated by an effort to stop anyone from covering BLACK FLAG songs. Quite to the contrary. this dispute began when Henry Garfield (Rollins) and Keith Morris made an effort to hijack the name — and the logo — for their own use. Behind everyone’s back, in September 2012, Garfield and Morris filed fraudulent trademark applications in which they are claiming to own the name and the logo. Had we not taken action, this pair could have snuck these false applications through the Trademark Office, enabling them to stop BLACK FLAG from playing and gaining exclusive use of the name and logo for themselves. We are also trying to stop Morris and the others in his band from using the name and the logo in a misleading way, and from selling bootleg items.”
A copy of the lawsuit can be seen below.