The Vandals Win First Round in Variety Lawsuit
The Vandals scored a major victory today in their ongoing legal frivolity of a lawsuit filed against them by entertainment trade publication The Daily Variety. The entertainment trade magazine had filed a second trademark infringement suit against the OC punk band for their cover artwork of 2004's Hollywood Potato Chip, which mimicked the green script of the Variety logo.
But The Variety's legal team, the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski, decided to file the lawsuit in Delaware--which meant the Vandals not only had to hire a high-cost attorney in Delaware, but that bass player/entertainment lawyer Joe Escalante couldn't even represent his own band, effectively backing the Vandals into a (very pricey) corner.
In August, Escalante filed a motion to move the case to California.
And today, the band learned they had won the right to a venue change, moving the case from Delaware to California, where Escalante can represent the band.
"This is a band representing themselves against a corporation. We beat them," Escalante explains.
Escalante also received special permission to enter the Delaware bar just for the purpose of representing the Vandals' label, Kung Fu Records.
"And that was their threat," Escalante says. "If you don't give us money, we will sue you in Delaware. Now they have to prove we breached the contract and we didn't, s o it's all threats now. They can't win now."
So where do they go from here? "They're going to file a case against us in California and we'll file a motion for rejudgment to have it dismissed because it's lame," Escalante explains.
Escalante adds that he believes this whole thing is only hurting the image of The Daily Variety--but he doesn't think the publication is doing it to themselves, either:
"The law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski in my opinion is really ripping off their client and it happens all the time with trademarks. They're like, protect your mark, vigorously protect your mark. This shows what can happen to you if you fall for that," Escalante says. "It can hurt your company. This is hurting Variety. If you Google them, all you get is a company fighting a punk band on a First Amendment issue."
The Vandals' official website adds: "How mad is The Daily Variety at J. Paul Williamson and Fulbright & Jaworski? Well here's a film about how the latest encounter might have gone."
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