Heavy metal, or heavy handed?

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Heavy metal super-group Metallica have issued a statement in support of Canadian tribute act Sandman after lawyers acting for Metallica issued a cease and desist letter intended to protect the group’s intellectual property.

The 41 page document sent to “Canada’s No 1 tribute to Metallica” demanded that they desist from using the name ‘Metallica’ to promote themselves through Facebook and YouTube. Sandman’s logo, a modified version of the stylised word ‘Metallica’, was also identified as a potential infringement of Metallica’s trademarks, despite the act having used the design for over ten years. Lawyers argued that the logo might lead to confusion amongst fans as to whether Sandman were licensed or authorised to use Metallica’s trademark.

In an article in Rolling Stone magazine, the band urged Sandman to continue using its logo and distanced itself from the letter, blaming an ‘overzealous attorney’ for the incident.

Of course, not all disputes can be concluded so amicably, and addressing IP infringement or overzealous attorneys will sometimes require the help of lawyers. For advice on cease and desist, infringement of trademarks or other issues relating to intellectual property or overzealous attorneys, contact George Festing on 0191 211 7917 or at [email protected].