Hinder Sue Former Lead Singer Austin John Winkler
Rock group Hinder are suing their former lead singer Austin John Winkler after accusations he's infringed on the band's trademark in pursuing his own solo career. Winkler left the group back in 2013 and has released an EP as of this time.
According to the lawsuit, Winkler is currently promoting his own performances and music by the "unlawful use and exploitation of the Hinder trademark," and the group are asking Winkler to cease infringement and to pay over "all gains, profits and advantages realized from his infringing."
In a statement from the band's attorney Blake Johnson to the Oklahoman, he offered, "Hinder has no ill will toward Mr. Winkler and would have much preferred to privately resolve this matter. Mr. Winkler, however, was apparently uninterested in such a solution. Though they've now been forced to seek legal redress, the band is less interested in a monetary reward and more interested in protecting Hinder's valuable intellectual property and its brand and reputation. The members of Hinder simply cannot abide another musician making reckless use of the name and trademark they've worked for over a decade to make meaningful and distinct."
When Winkler left the group, he allegedly signed a Leaving Member Agreement "acknowledging that he has no rights in the (trademark), or to promotional use of the name Hinder, and accepting a very limited license for use of the mark under certain express restrictions." The lawsuit alleges that Winkler has broken this agreement in his promotion of his most recent couple of tours, due to his marketing approach. It was arranged so Winkler could use the phrase "Austin Winkler, Formerly of Hinder," but apparently in posters, the word "Hinder" appears larger.
"In many of these promotional materials, the Hinder mark is featured several times in type and size larger than Winkler's own name, or is featured above or before Winkler's own name," the lawsuit alleges. "The materials also feature the Hinder logo, which Winkler is not authorized to use."
There is no court date currently set for the suit.
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