Commodores Entertainment Corp. v. McClary, No. 14-14883 (11th Cir. Apr. 15, 2016).
The 11th Circuit affirmed a preliminary injunction enjoining the defendants from using the "The Commodores" mark and from performing under the name "The Commodores featuring Thomas McClary" or "The 2014 Commodores." The Commodores were a popular funk/soul group on the Motown label in the 1970s (hits included Brick House and Three Times a Lady). In the early 1980s, two fo the original members of hte group left to embark on solo careers, including defendant McClary. The remaining members, as the plaintiff corporation, continued to perform and registered four trademarks. In 2014, defendant McClaray began performing songs made famous by the band in the 1970s with his own band called "The Commodores featuring Thomas McClary" or "The 2014 Commodores." This use gave rise to litigation, and the lower court granted plaintiff a preliminary injunction. The 11th Circuit affirmed, finding that defendant's use was likely to confuse and therefore plaintiff was likely to succeed on the merits, and further that the plaintiff had standing and had made a showing of irreparable harm. Lastly, the Court found that there was no error with the distric court's conclusion that the defendants may be enjoined extraterritorially (i.e., outside of the United States).