The Isley Brothers’ Rudolph Isley Sues Ronald Isley Over Band’s Trademark

Rudolph Isley has sued his brother Ronald Isley, alleging that he improperly registered the trademark of “The Isley Brothers” as a single individual, excluding him from an asset in a partnership in which they are equal members. Rolling Stone reports and documents seen by Pitchfork confirm. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that “The Isley Brothers” brand is jointly owned by each brother, and an asset in which they are “sole and equal members.” Rudolph Isley also claims that because he “is unaware of the extent to which Ronald exploited the Mark, licenses and/or other transactions Ronald was involved in,” he seeks a judgment that will hold Ronald accountable and pay his 50 percent share. percent of the revenue it has raised on the trademark. He takes a look at the full lawsuit below.

Documents obtained from the United States Patent and Trademark Office show that on November 2, 2021, Ronald Isley applied to register the exclusive rights to the trademark “The Isley Brothers” for “Visual Recordings and Audio-Visual Recordings Featuring Music and Animation “as a single individual. The USPTO registered the trademark on August 16, 2022.

Rudolph and Ronald Isley co-founded Isley Brothers with their brother O’Kelly in 1954. Rudolph claims after O’Kelly’s death in 1986, that he and Ronald each had 50 percent ownership of the group and the trademark ” The Isley Brothers”. . Both parties agree that Rudolph retired from performing and recording with the band in 1989. Rudolph claims in his lawsuit that he “remained active in promoting and managing the group’s properties,” citing a 2018 publishing contract and a recent timing of “Shout” in 2023. Super Bowl commercial last year. The current lineup of the Isley Brothers includes Ronald and Ernie Isley; shared a reworking of their 1975 hit “Make Me Say It Again Girl, Pts. 1 & 2” with Beyoncé in August, and a year earlier appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to perform “Friends and Family” with Snoop Dogg. In April 2021, Ronald and Ernie faced off against the surviving members of Earth, Wind, & Fire in a special Easter VERZUZ battle hosted by Steve Harvey.

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In his lawsuit, Rudolph Isley included a letter as evidence written by Navarro W. Gray, an attorney representing his brother Ronald, in response to a letter sent by Rudolph’s attorney, Brian D. Caplan. The letter addresses several claims: that Ronald paid off a $2 million loan from Rudolph with his share of a tax credit for The Isley Brothers, LLC; that Ronald did not “create a separate entity to receive income related to Isley Brothers” but to do business solely related to his own career; that “fake sites” not affiliated with Ronald Isley are selling unauthorized products; and that SoundExchange, the rights management company responsible for distributing Isley Brothers royalties, has always issued payments in equal parts and no corrections to royalty payments are required.

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