A manager of a group know as the Drifters files a suit against
a former member (Doc Green) charging the defendants use of the name
constituted infringement of registered trademark.
In December 17, 1976 Doc Green together with Charles Thomas and
Elsbeary Hobbs filed in the United States Patent and Trademark
office a service-mark application in the name of "The Drifters",
a partnership composed of all three.
For the record these three were some of the men who were the voices
on some of The Drifters greatest hits throughout the 60s and who's
pictures were noted on album covers but were not the first know
group of Drifters to record in history or the last.
Shortly there after all three men assign all their rights, Title
and interest in the pending application to manager on the agreement
that he would continue as their manager and be vigilant in
stopping others from using "The Drifters" name.
Thomas, Hobbs and Green continued to perform under management agreement
until June of 1979, when green disgruntled an no longer happy with
groups financial arrangements breaks away and forms another group
using the name "The Drifters"
Under this charade all parties were aware that others out there
were using "The Drifters" name but gave false testimony to the
Patent and Trademark Office to the fact.
In the long run all four parties lost and came out with nothing but
heartache in laying claim to something that wasn't theirs in the
This scenario continues today as would be Drifter groups continue
to surface claiming legitimacy to the legacy under the brand and rogue
agents, promoters etc. continue to aid and abet these fraudulent practices.
Today Thomas performs under the title Charlie Thomas and the Drifters
but does so under violation in that he is not licensed to do so. Green
an Hobbs are now deceased.
Bobby Hendricks performs with his own set of Drifters but not under license.
Rick Sheppard performs with his group of Drifters but currently holds a
Trademark in Canada and does not work under license in the United States.
The Original Drifters perform under a service mark originally owned by
Original Drifter member from 1953 the late Bill Pinkney but non of the
four men in that group have ever performed on any Drifter records.
The official Drifters group are currently performing in Europe and are the only
legitimate Drifters out there today.
Then there is the Drifters Legends former members who are the the only licensed
performing group also out there today.
PMG (Prism Music Group) currently holds the worldwide licensing of The Drifters an
the Drifters Legends. The name is owned by the Treadwell family.
For continued updates on the Drifters Wars log into Corner Talk Report.
(Corner Talk Report) Fro related info on the Drifters Legends:
The Drifters Legends Website: