Founding Autograph Guitarist Steve Lynch Reveals Ruling in Trademark Case With Former Bandmates
There's news to share in the ongoing battle over the rights of the name and trademark for '80s rockers Autograph. Founding guitarist Steve Lynch has revealed that he has emerged victorious in the fight over the band's name.
As a refresher, in November 2022, Lynch brought to light that he was being sued by current members of the band's lineup as they attempted to gain control of the band's name and trademark. Lynch and bassist Randy Rand had reunited under the Autograph name in 2013, bringing in Daniel Simoni (aka Simon Daniels) and Marc Weiland as part of their lineup.
Lynch exited the group in 2019 to pursue other projects, and Rand died in early 2022, leaving none of the original members still left in the band. Daniels and Weiland then sought to claim the band's trademark moving forward, seeking declaratory relief. In the suit, they claimed, "Defendant Lynch claims the sole ownership of the trademark in the Band Name and is entitled to compensation for the use of the Band Name. Plaintiffs deny and dispute that Defendant Lynch has any rights to the trademark in the Band Name and denies that Defendant Lynch is entitled to any compensation from the performances of Plaintiffs using the Band Name."
The guitarist commented last November, "The lawsuit claims that they are Autograph and the sole owners of the trademark which I have no rights to. After a 40-year career creating the band and the trademark, the absurdity of this claim defies reality and is beyond rational thinking, as well as the law.”
Within his post, Lynch contested the band's ability to continue, stating that the group had a "no sell-out" policy in which an original member must be involved to continue. “This position was consistently communicated in conversations, emails and in the standard cease and desist letter,” said the guitarist.
Fast forward to modern day and Lynch revealed that he emerged victorious in the court battle over the band's name.
"In the spirit of transparency, and in response to the numerous inquiries received, I wanted to provide an important and factual update," said Lynch."I am pleased to share with you that on July 5th, The United States Patent and Trademark Office Trial and Appeal Board entered a judgement against Daniel Simoni (Simon Daniels) and Marc Weiland (known as the 'applicants'), whereas the registration for the Trademark name “'Autograph' they sought was refused and that my legal opposition to their application was supported in being sustained."
He continued, "With this important legal VICTORY, we would like to thank first and foremost our Autograph Family - our incredible Fans! For 40 years, you have rocked and rolled with us, and that connection has never wavered, it has always propelled us to TURN IT UP! Sincere thanks to our legal team at Lewis Roco, spearheaded by the incomparable expertise of Eric Kohli."
Lynch concludes, "As we defend our position in this lawsuit, we remain committed to seeking the ultimate Justice - that the INFRINGEMENT STOPS, the violators be accountable for damages deemed appropriate by the court, and that the legacy of Autograph honors my brothers Randy, Plunk, Ish and Keni. Thank you for your love and continued support, it means the world. Love to you all, Steve." The statement also came with a photo of the first page of the legal ruling that can be seen below.
Autograph initially formed in Pasadena, California in 1983, making their biggest imprint on the music world a year later with their hit single "Turn Up the Radio" off their debut album, 1984's Sign In Please.
Lynch remained with the group through 1989 when they disbanded. He was not part of their initial reunion in 2002 that ran for three years, but did return with Rand to head up the 2013 reunion that recruited Daniels and later Weiland into the group. 2022's Beyond was Autograph's first album with its current lineup without Lynch.