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Goodyear Sues Punk Band ‘Good Year Pimps’ for Using Name (1)

Oct. 25, 2019, 1:55 PMUpdated: Oct. 25, 2019, 7:45 PM

An Illinois punk band formerly known as the Good Year Pimps breached a settlement agreement with Goodyear by using its old name again, Goodyear says in a new lawsuit.

The Pimps agreed to change their name in 2007 but restarted using the name and Goodyear’s winged foot logo on clothes, hats, and other merchandise in August, according to an Oct. 24 complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The Pimps formed as the Good Year Pimps around 1997, the complaint says. Goodyear says the band agreed to stop using the name in 2001 or 2002. The band allegedly later started using the name again, and the parties signed a formal settlement agreement in 2007.

According to Goodyear, the agreement disallows the band from using the “Good Year Pimps” name or Goodyear’s winged foot logo.

Goodyear’s trademark and winged foot logo are “two of the best known and most famous marks in the automotive industry,” the complaint says, and the company owns a trademark registration for Goodyear clothing that includes caps, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and jackets.

A representative of the band disputed that any confusion could result from its name. “I highly doubt the average consumer thinks we’re manufacturing tires and rubber in our practice space,” a band representative told Bloomberg Law.

Causes of Action: Breach of contract; Lanham Act trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, and dilution; Illinois trademark dilution and deceptive practices; common law service mark infringement and unfair competition.

Relief: Injunctive relief, damages, attorneys’ fees.

Attorneys: Neal & McDevitt and Wood, Herron & Evans LLP represent Goodyear.

The case is Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. v. The Pimps a/k/a The Good Year Pimps, N.D. Ill., No. 3:19-cv-50276, complaint filed 10/24/19.

(Added comment from band)

To contact the reporter on this story: Blake Brittain in Washington at bbrittain@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bloomberglaw.com

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