Van Halen Lawsuit

Band claims unauthorized use of Van Halen name for merchandising

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -  Van Halen is suing its drummer's ex-wife in Los Angeles, alleging that she is illegally infringing on the group's trademark to sell her fashion line, according to court papers obtained today.  

Kelly Van Halen's ``unauthorized'' use of the Van Halen name to market clothing, blankets and fashion accessories leads to ``confusion'' among consumers and violates federal law, according to the complaint filed Thursday.   The band further alleges that items marketed by Kelly Van Halen are``identical or closely related to'' merchandise sold by the band, causing a ``loss in the value'' to the group's name.

Kelly Van Halen launched her eponymously named baby and children's collection in 2010, expanding into travel blankets, robes and bedding. She registered her company name three years ago, according to the suit.

The band named after brothers Eddie and Alex Van Halen trademarked its name upon the release of its debut album in 1978, the lawsuit states.   The former Kelly Carter was married to Alex Van Halen for a dozen years, until their divorce in August 1996.

The suit alleges that Kelly Van Halen intends to expand into interior design and construction services, and while Van Halen the band has no plans to do the same, use of the name would represent another violation of its trademark.  

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages and a judge's order barring her from using the Van Halen name for business purposes.

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