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Cavern Club takes on Hard Rock Cafe in courtroom battle over using its world-famous name

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Liverpool's Cavern Club is taking American restaurant chain the Hard Rock Cafe to court in a battle over who owns the rights to the famous name. Trademark battles between the Mathew Street club and the burger bars have been going on since 1994 - when the US group trademarked Cavern Club in America.

Now the owners of the Liverpool club, who include John Lennon's sister, are set to ask a Florida court to throw out Hard Rock's claim to the Cavern Club name. The Hard Rock corporation, which was bought by the Seminole Tribe of Native Americans in 2007 for $965m, is based in Orlando. The Cavern Club has appealed to the tribe council chairman, Grammy-nominated musician James E Billie, whose stage name is Chief Jim Billie, and have offered him a gig on the stage where the Beatles performed if he intervenes. Cavern Club director Bill Heckle said: "We are sure that as a musician Chief Jim Billie will see the history and the right to our claim. "This trademark row began long before the Seminole Tribe took ownership of the Hard Rock, so we don’t consider it’s of their making." He added: "If Chief Jim Billie instructs the Hard Rock to try to see it our way not only will right be done but we’ll put him and his band on at The Cavern Club as part of the deal."

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Source: Liverpool Echo

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