Tug of War for the ‘Ebonys’

Music is something out of this world. According to Dumbledore, it is a ‘magic beyond what they do’. The vocalists, singers, music composers and bands are the true magicians. But sometimes because of the lack of communication and inadequate business activities, strife emerges between different members of the same band.

The Ebonys is a soulful band that started from Philadelphia. The band was started in the 70s and is still touring and organising concerts. But, there are many new entrants with many founding members already retired. Two of such retired members were David Beasley and William Howard. Beasley had joined the band since the 60s while Howard joined the band in the 90s.

After Beasely separated, both Beasely and Howard thought themselves to be the owner of the Ebonys. Eventually, Howard registered the trademark rights for the name under USPTO. Beasely tried to get the trademark cancelled but failed at the TTAB (Trademark Trial and Appeal Board). He then moved towards the District Court.

In the district court, Beasely argued that Howard’s registration of the trademark prevented him from registering the domain name TheEbonys.com, booking music concerts under the name and royalty collection disputes. Howard demanded claim preclusion here. Claim preclusion is a tool that prevents plaintiffs to pursue the same case under different organisations. However, the court cancelled Howard’s claim preclusion.

The domain name hasn’t been transferred yet. A WhoIs lookup at the domain name TheEbonys.com, shows that it is still registered with William Howard.


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