Walker Morris wins music trademark dispute for Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash

Lawyers at Walker Morris have achieved a successful outcome in the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court for Andy Powell from rock band Wishbone Ash. 

The case concerned the activities of Martin Turner, a former member of the band, who had left twice to pursue other interests in 1981 and then again in 1991. However, more recently, he formed a band under the name ‘Martin Turner’s Wishbone Ash’ in response to which Powell brought trademark infringement proceedings against him. 

Turner, who is represented by Mishcon de Reya, denied infringement and sought to have the European-wide trademark registration in WISHBONE ASH, which is owned by Powell, to be declared invalid.

The judge, His Honour Douglas Campbell, dismissed Turner’s counterclaim and declared Powell’s European-wide Community trademark rights in WISHBONE ASH to be valid and that such rights had been infringed by Turner’s use of the name, MARTIN’S TURNER WISHBONE ASH. The judge rejected Turner’s assertion that his previous historical connection with the WISHBONE ASH band provided him with a defence.

Accordingly, the judge awarded Powell an injunction restraining the future use of the name MARTIN TURNER’S WISHBONE ASH, whose injunction will be suspended for a short time pending an appeal of the decision, which Turner has indicated he is contemplating. 

The judge also awarded Powell more than £40,000 in costs and has ordered Turner to deliver up all flyers, CD covers and other material that bears the name to which Powell had objected. 

In addition, Turner was ordered to submit to an enquiry as to what damages and/or unlawful profits were made through his use of the name.