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Isley v. Isley: Rudolph sues Ronald over the Isley Brothers trademark


A rivalry is developing between brothers and former bandmates Rudolph and Ronald Isley in the Illinois court system.

On Monday, Rudolph Isley filed a lawsuit against Ronald Isley accusing his younger brother of secretly and unfairly obtaining exclusive rights to the “Isley Brothers” trademark, which they previously split. Rudolph Isley has requested a jury trial in an attempt to win back his “rightful 50% interest” in the Isley Brothers empire.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office approved the registration of Ronald Isley as sole owner of the Isley Brothers trademark in August.

Rudolph Isley maintains that all profits and property accrued under the Isley Brothers trademark have been divided equally among the singing group’s founding members, Rudolph, Ronald and O’Kelly Isley Jr., since the band’s inception in Cincinnati. , Ohio. After the older brother, O’Kelly Isley, died in March 1986, Rudolph and Ronald Isley agreed to 50/50 ownership of the band and the trademark, the lawsuit says.

Rudolph Isley left the family act, which expanded in the 1970s to include Ernie Isley, Marvin Isley and Chris Jasper, in 1989 while dealing with some health issues and grieving the loss of O’Kelly Isley, according to court documents. Although he has not recorded with the band since then, Rudolph Isley has “remained active in promoting and managing the group’s properties” and deserves to keep half of his earnings, the complaint argues.

Ronald and Ernie Isley now perform as a duo under the name Isley Brothers.

“To the best of my knowledge and belief, (Ronald Isley) has for the past year offered commercial goods and services to the public under the (Trademark) within this judicial district and elsewhere, without the authorization or approval of (Rudolph Isley), and has not responded to or made payment to (Rudolph Isley) in connection with such exploitation of the (registered trademark),” the court filing reads.

In a letter from Ronald Isley’s lawyer to Rudolph Isley’s lawyer included in the lawsuit, the former insists that “Ronald has no problem deciding to jointly incorporate Rudolph into the Isley Brothers business.”

“However, it would only be for the years that Rudolph was an active member of the Isley Brother group,” the correspondence continues.

“Rudolph retired in 1986, was not involved in any of the compositions/body works made after his retirement, and has not performed with The Isley Brother’s since Okelly Isley’s death.”

Because “the owner of a registered trademark is the person… who is actually and actively using the mark in commerce at or near the time of registration,” Ronald Isley’s team asserts that Rudolph Isley no longer qualifies for registration. Partial ownership of the band name.

Representatives for Ronald Isley did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment from The Times.

Times news researcher Scott Wilson contributed to this report.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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