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One Direction sued in America

One Direction could soon find that direction is straight into the American courts, after they were sued by an American band of the same name. The boy band, who recently topped the Billboard chart with their debut album, face costly litigation to protect their rights to the name.

An obscure Californian pop-rock outfit has been using the name One Direction since late 2009 and recorded two albums under that name. They are seeking an injunction against the British band and its management company, Simon Cowell’s Syco organisation, to prevent it using the name One Direction in promotional material. They are also seeking a share of the group’s profits.

The case comes at an awkward time for the British group, whose success in America has been compared to the early days of Beatlemania. They have a major US tour scheduled for later this year.

The Californians, who have played in local clubs and fairs, seek a sum that is 3 times the profit of the British One Direction, and also claim more than $1 million in compensatory damages.

It seems like an opportunistic move by the Californians, but they may have underestimated the robust approach of Cowell’s Syco organisation. The question is whether Cowell will offer a settlement to make the issue go away, or will respond with a "see you in court".

In the past, successful British groups with the same name as American bands have changed their name for the American markets, creating such outfits as The English Beat and The London Suede. Another Direction perhaps?

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