Creedence Clearwater Members Sue John Fogerty Over Use of Band's Name

A long-festering dispute over who gets to use the name of the popular 1960s rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival has done a 180 with lead singer John Fogerty now on the answering end of a lawsuit that claims he violated trademarks by recently using the band name.

The dispute actually stretches back to 1996 when Fogerty was the plaintiff in a lawsuit that alleged that drummer Douglas Clifford, bassist Stuart Cook and the wife of late rhythm guitarist Tom Fogerty (John's brother) had been the ones misusing trademarks through the "Creedence Clearwater Revisited" tour.

Fogerty was initially successful back then in getting a California District Court to issue an injunction. However, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the injunction by ruling in 1997 that the lower judge had erred in finding a probable likelihood of confusion and in presuming irreparable harm to Fogerty. The case then proceeded, and in 2001, the parties entered into a settlement agreement.

According to a new lawsuit by Clifford, Cook, Patricia Fogerty and Poor Boy Productions, it was John Fogerty who withdrew his objection to “Creedence Clearwater Revisited” in return for payment for uses of the “Revisited” name.

The latest lawsuit points out that after the settlement, Fogerty gave interviews where he continued to slam use of the “Creedence Clearwater Revisited” name.

“Using the name is sort of a sacrilege," he told one publication."

"When the band broke up, I never had any problem not trying to abscond with the name Creedence as a solo artist," Fogerty told another publication. "I just think that thing is from a certain time and it is untouchable, unless everybody is there. You can't do it unless everyone says it is OK to do it."

The comments appear to have upset John Fogerty's former band members. Attorneys demanded a stop to Fogerty’s alleged malfeasance and settlement agreement breach. With Fogerty said to be threatening litigation again over money, the other Creedence parties are going to court first. They not only allege that Fogerty has breached the settlement agreement by publicly condemning use of "Revisited," but that Fogerty himself is now violating the band's trademarks.

The attached exhibits to the lawsuit indicate that Fogerty has recently been advertising concerts where he "performs the albums of Creedence Clearwater Revival." The plaintiffs now claim that such use of the band's name is likely to cause confusion among the consuming public.

Fogerty responds, "No lawyers, lawsuits, or angry ex-band members will stop me ever again from singing my songs. I am going to continue to tour and play all my songs every single night I am out on the road."


Twitter: @eriqgardner