Dueling ukulele orchestras duke it out

Posted on: September 25, 2014

“The ukulele may be associated with musical joviality but for two orchestras based around the instrument, the air is filled more with legal discord than twanging harmony,” reports Cahal Milmo in Wednesday’s (9/24) Independent (Great Britain). “A judge at the High Court in London found himself having to rule in a trademark dispute between a long-established British ukulele band and a recently-formed rival based in Germany. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB), which has been going for 29 years, and has played New York’s Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House, had sought an injunction to stop the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO) from performing under that name pending a trial. But Judge Richard Hacon, sitting at the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court, declined to issue the injunction after hearing that such a step would force the cancellation of the younger band’s tour of Britain due to start next month and cost it tens of thousands of pounds. The rare outbreak of acrimony … is based on what the longer-established orchestra claims are close resemblances between its work and that of its competitor. … Judge Hacon said that proceedings had been issued too late to allow an injunction ahead of a full hearing.”

Posted September 25, 2014