Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Drifter Wars/Goodwill

For the record it's quite disturbing this claim that those
who continue to contend for right to use the Drifters mark
make accusations against ligitimate members who have more rights
under the brand then them.

They tend to challenge through what they call the goodwill
which they report to bring by way of the goods and services
and reputation in the market place.

Obviously for the most part I'm speaking of Managers, agents
those with proprietary interest in the name.

It is particularly the above who have claimed in the past that
the singers who have become the faces of the brand had nothing
to do with it's establishment.

It's no mystery that the nature of trademark is in it's use and
continued use in commerce.

This in fact is the key in establishing the ownership.

The Drifters as an entity has never ceased in commerce since it's
conception no matter who claimed ownership.

What ever form it took, that of record sales, merchandizing, use
of it's name by members etc. it has continued on as an entity til
this day.

The real goodwill in the Drifters service mark is owned by all
who have contributed to it's success living or dead for our
names and likeness continue to hold it up as an viable brand.

An intangible asset which provides a competitive advantage
such as a strong brand, reputation, or high employee morale.
In an acquisition, goodwill appears on the balance sheet
of the acquirer in the amount by which the purchase price
exceeds the net tangible assets of the acquired company.

The Drifters at this stage in history is an institution which is
larger than any current entity that seeks rights in ownership.

It's goodwill an service is beyond any market value one
might attache to it.

Yet it can be measured by what positiveness it brings to
history and musical culture.

Stay tuned to this continuing series on The Drifter Wars here at
Corner Talk Report.

(Corner Talk Report) for related info on the Drifters Legends read:

The Drifters Legends Website:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The Drifter Wars/Trademark issue

The Bell/Arista Drifters

In a July 30, 1999 decision with far reaching implications for
the entertainment industry a U.S. District Court in Newark N.J.
overturned a jury verdict that found Drifters manager an owner
Faye Treadwell abandoned the Drifters after the group ceased
performing regularly in the United States in the mid-1970s.

The Nature of Action and Parties. A plaintiff-Appellant,
Larry Marshak at the time sought a declaration of rights
acquired both through federal trademark registration, and through
more than 25 years of common law use of the mark in issue, to
the exclusive use in the United States of the mark "Drifters",
to identify live singing performances of "Oldie" songs associated
with the 1950s and early 60s.

The Defendant-Appellee Faye Treadwell at the time counter-claimed
alleging that she possessed common law rights to the exclusive
and superior use of the mark.

Subject of controversy both parties claimed there exclusive right
to use the mark in the United States.

Summary of facts as they pertain to the early years a group by
the name of The Drifters recorded songs as contracted employees
of one George Treadwell. By the mid 1960s, due to the diminishing
popularity of the music style and or that of the group, promotion
of Drifter recordings ceased. Mr.Treadwell passed away in 1967.

In overturning the verdict, it was ruled that uninterrupted and
continued royalties from ongoing recording sales and airplay
of original Drifter songs constituted continued commercial use
of the Drifters name in the United States, and therefore no
abandonment had occurred.

The Drifters Brand is and has been an on going entity since the 50s
due to it's unique music style, lead vocalist and it's over all
marketing concepts.

There are those who attempt to type cast the act in a given period
such as the 60s when you had the great songs such as "There Goes
My Baby and "Save The Last Dance" came along with the artist who
recorded the song of that time.

Yet Drifters songs were recorded before that period and long after
that period up through the 80s, with Drifters who continue to keep
the brand alive today.

It fact it was the Bell Arista group featuring the late Johnny Moore,
Bill Fredricks, Grant Kitchings, Butch Leake (still living) Joe Blunt                                          
(Still Living) and Clyde Brown (Still Living) along with management                                         and the prolific production team of Greenway music which brought back                                  the brand from the grave in the early 70s.

Today the worldwide licensing rights for The Brand is held by PMG
Prism Music Group UK and the ownership is still with the Treadwell

The 60s Atlantic group had by the early 70s had all but disappeared
off the radar, when 3 former members of the brand Charlie Thomas,
Doc Green, Elbeary Hobbs along with there management one Larry Marshak
filed for a Drifters service mark under the Drifters partnership
Registration No. 1,081,338 for The Drifters which was issued in 1978
by The patent & Trademark Office in Washington DC.

Eventually this mark was revoked as it was proven in the courts that
it was obtained fraudulently knowing that there was another mark
which was still in commerce held by the original management the
Treadwell family.

Stay tuned to this continuing series on The Drifter Wars here at
Corner Talk Report.

(Corner Talk Report) for related info on the Drifters Legends read:

Monday, June 4, 2012

"The Drifter Wars" Atlantic/Bell, Arista Years

In 1969 saw the Drifters in a very much
declined state.

Relegated down to playing mom an pop shows along the eastern
seaboard with it's ever changing lineup. Atlantic Records long had stopped
looking at the group as a viable recording entity.

Atlantic Records had only been releasing one record a year on the group                                          
from 1967 through 1971, non making it to the top 100 in the charts.

Though the songs continued to remain popular among the die hard Drifter
fans and management continued to reap most of the rewards from record
sales. The brand splintered off into a number of factions.

Charlie Thomas an former members Doc Green and Elsbeary Hobbs formed
a Drifters group and soon began to challenge the treadwell ownership.

Through there mis-adventure in filing for a Drifters service mark
in Washington DC. under the Drifters partnership they allied with
Larry Marshak long known to be somewhat dubious in the business of
acquiring trade mark names.

On the other end of matters Treadwell who owned the name since the
Clyde McPhatter days along with Johnny Moore, The late Bill Fredricks,
Grant Kitchings and Butch Leake signed new recording contracts in 1972
with then UK based Bell Records who later became Arista.

Due to this signing an the hit records which came out of it, the Drifters
brand as an entity was back on the map again under the successful writing
and production team of British Producer/writer Roger Greenway, Tony Macaulay
and Barry Mason.

It was under this team at Greenway music and the then Bell Record president
Dick Leahy which sent the group back to the top of the charts to rule the                               airwaves.

On the dark side of matters the battles were heating up on who should
own the Drifters service mark between the Treadwells an the Marshaks.

Bill Pickney who filed for a service mark under the Original Drifters                                            
had also entered the Frey trying to establish his prominence had on                                            
going legal battles with Treadwell and Marshak.

Later others would enter the market place. Rick Sheppard Drifters,
Don Thomas and his Drifters both former members of the latter 60s
group under Treadwell.

In Europe Billy Lewis former replacement member of the 70s group
formed a group under the title Nu Drifters.

To add to the melee scores of pirate groups surfaced to claim a spot
to the Drifters fame who had no recorded history with the act at all.

Stay tuned to this continued series on The Drifter Wars here at
Corner Talk Report.

(Corner Talk Report) For related info on the Drifters Legends Read: