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So much for Southern hospitality.
A Bay Ridge band is being ordered to drop its name and unconditionally surrender its Web site because of its unauthorized use of “Southern Comfort.”
Lawyers for Southern Comfort Properties, Inc. (SCPI), which owns the trademark for Southern Comfort for liqueur and other goods and services, dispatched a Sept. 2 letter to the band, requesting that the band cease and desist all use of its name, and cease all use of southerncomfortmusic.com, domain name — and assign the domain name to SCPI.The band is also asked not to use the Southern Comfort mark “or anything confusingly similar” in connection with the band or any of its endeavors.It was given until Sept. 16 to comply with the demands.
Attorney Jill Jacobs, of the California-based firm Seyfarth Shaw, said she had no comment, and that the letter speaks for itself.
Southern Comfort Band guitarist Eddie Sarkis said he is unsure yet what action the group will take. “Why did they single out a couple of guys from Brooklyn when there are hundreds of bands across the country using that name?” he wondered.
The band includes original members from the group Head Over Heels, considered Bay Ridge’s longest running bar band. When the band formed nearly 30 years ago, it played southern rock associated with groups like The Marshall Tucker Band and the Allman Brothers. But over the years, the band became a high end corporate wedding outfit, playing more Sinatra than Skynyrd.The Southern Comfort Band was formed about two years ago, Sarkis said, a chance for members to get back to their musical roots. “Now we’re playing the music we love,” he noted.
On Sept. 1, Southern Comfort played at a summer concert series sponsored by State Senator Marty Golden. His spokesperson, John Quaglione, said he could not comment on the legal matter, but that the band, and Head Over Heels specifically, “has a tremendous following” in Bay Ridge. “I almost hired them to play at my wedding,” he added.
Sarkis said band members don’t consume the spicy whiskey-flavored potable, which is owned by the Kentucky-based Brown-Forman Corporation. “Half of our members don’t even drink,” he added.
The iconic liqueur is an ingredient in such cocktails as the Alabama Slammer and the Red Death.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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