British boy band One Direction is currently driving teens everywhere crazy with their hit debut album, Up All Night, but there’s one group that isn’t so happy with the boys’ success. Meet the other One Direction.
One Direction, an American group fronted by Sean O’Leary, is not signed to a label, but the pop group has been selling its album, The Light, on iTunes since February 2011, before the British One Direction released their U.S. debut in March 2012.
American boy band One Direction is suing Simon Cowell’s record label, Syco Entertainment and Sony Music for $1 million, claiming that One Direction (U.K.) is causing consumer confusion and destroying the goodwill of One Direction (U.S.) in America, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
To prove their point, One Direction (U.S.) is citing One Direction’s (U.K.) recent appearance on NBC’s “Today” as evidence of confusion. Apparently, the British group was shown, accompanied accidentally by music from the U.S. band.
The lawyer representing One Direction (U.S.), Peter Ross, is seeking an injunction to stop Cowell’s group from using their name. He also said that Cowell’s company should have known better than to bring his young band to the U.S. as One Direction, since he claims One Direction U.K. were made aware of the American act when they attempted to file an application with the U.S. Trademark Office.
British One Direction — comprised of Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne and Niall Horan — was formed on the seventh series of the British singing competition “The X Factor,” after guest judge Nicole Scherzinger made a recommendation to Simon Cowell to put the five solo hopefuls together to compete in the competition as a group act. Cowell now manages the band.
While One Direction (U.S.) may be suing their British counterparts for stealing their name, the alleged confusion has caused an increase in iTunes sales — and YouTube views — for the little-known American band and their current single “2012.” However, despite the increased notoriety, the band and their lawyer are still going forward with the lawsuit.
“We’ve been in negotiations for a month to find a resolution,” Ross told The Hollywood Reporter. “In our view, the negotiations weren’t turning out to be very productive.”
Cowell and Syco have not yet commented on the suit.
By Crystal Bell