I recently read via twitter about Steven Tyler of Aerosmith threatening to sue management if they replace him as front man. (click here for article). Other long time artists have followed suit, pardon the pun, and sued to protect their trademark rights to the band’s name or merchandise.
It made me wonder, if a Rock star’s brand isn’t litigation proof, how strong is your brand? Or mine? Can you be replaced in the eyes of your client, boss, or co-workers? Or can someone else use your company name or logo or tag line?
While copyrights, trademarks, and patents are intended to protect intellectual property, the protection is not necessarily bullet proof, or lawsuit proof. Someone may try to steal the idea, name, or product that you’ve protected. That’s why intellectual property litigation is such a hot area of the law. Obtaining the protection is only one part of the process. Defending intellectual property is another process.
If Aerosmith’s management does not heed the “cease and desist” letter from Steven Tyler’s lawyer, litigation will likely follow on the issue of a new lead singer for the band. Do you think Steven Tyler or Aerosmith would prevail if the matter went to court? Could Aerosmith be as popular with another lead singer? Maybe, maybe not. It’s hard to replace an icon successfully. His brand is pretty strong.
What about your brand? Could you leave your firm, company, or other place of business and take the clients with you? Are they loyal to you because of your brand, or the company or firm you work for? Something to think about. In this day and age, no one’s job or brand is bullet proof. Not even a Rock Star. The stronger your relationships with your clients/”fans”, the more muscle you have in any legal or business dispute.
I invite your thoughts on this topic. Is Steven the reason for the band’s legendary success? Should he call it quits, and allow himself to be replaced by a younger lead singer for the band? Or should the public decide this dispute with their dollars? If they don’t like the replacement, they won’t buy the music, attend the concerts, etc. Remember when Van Halen tried to replace David Lee Roth with Sammy Haggar as the lead singer? It didn’t last long and eventually David Lee Roth came back. The public has a clear vote when it comes to celebrity brands. Would your “public” vote with their dollars to keep you as their lawyer, consultant, doctor, etc.?
Lori T. Williams is the owner and managing attorney of Your Legal Resource, PLLC, a legal referral service based in Birmingham, MI. She connects the right client with the right attorney in all areas of law throughout Metro Detroit. Lori is also helping professional service providers to start and grow their practices by effectively branding themselves, mastering networking, and creating strategic relationships to generate clients and revenue. For more information, visit: www.bestlegalresource.com or email Lori@BestLegalResource.com.
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