Doobie Brothers File Lawsuit Against Similarly Named Cover Band
The Doobie Brothers have filed a trademark lawsuit against a '70s cover band called the Doobie Decimal System, claiming the other group's name is "confusingly similar."
Courthouse News Service reports that the Doobie Brothers trademarked their band name — as well as the use of "Doobies" for musical performances — in 1982, and their suit argues that the Doobie Decimal System's moniker is "highly phonetically and visually similar" to their own, a similarity further compounded by the larger font used for the word "Doobie" in the Decimal System's website and concert posters.
As Billboard notes, the Doobie Decimal System is a hobby of sorts for Jason Crosby and Roger McNamee, a pair of musicians whose other gigs would seem to have far more earning potential: Crosby is a professional sideman whose résumé includes gigs with Robert Randolph, Bob Weir, Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton, while McNamee, who's also a member of Moonalice, is the co-founder of deep-pocketed private equity firms Silver Lake Partners and Elevation Partners.
Although the story is being spun in some quarters as though the Doobie Brothers are claiming to own the word "doobie," they're really just defending the trademark they own — and as Billboard's report points out, since the Doobie Decimal System performs hits from the same decade that produced most of the Doobie Brothers' bestselling albums, they're not entirely out of line in viewing one another as indirect competitors.
The Doobie Brothers claim they've reached out to the Crosby and McNamee since learning of the Doobie Decimal System last year, but they say the duo stopped responding. They're seeking "an accounting, an injunction and punitive damages for trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition." Here's hoping the two sides can reach an amicable agreement, but if this case does end up going to court, we assume the judge will have the good sense to utter the words "which Doobie you be?" at least once.
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