June 17, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

Lawsuit Over Keith Urban ‘Player’ Guitar Package Dismissed

Keith Urban performs on stage during the 2013  Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden (Thinkstock).
Keith Urban performs on stage during the 2013 Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden (Thinkstock).

A Los Angeles judge tossed a lawsuit by a British songwriter who accused Keith Urban of stealing his band’s name — Player — for a guitar lesson package the singer sells on the Home Shopping Network and online, court papers show.

In a trademark violation complaint filed in federal court, Peter Beckett claimed the “American Idol” judge snatched the “Player” name after Beckett’s band performed its 1978 chart-topper “Baby Come Back” on an episode of the daytime soap opera “General Hospital” last year.

Beckett did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In dismissing the suit, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real wrote this week that the common use of the word “Player” in describing a wide range of goods and services is “indicative of the weakness” of Beckett’s claim.

Urban’s use of the phrase “Player by Keith Urban” dispels any potential confusion with the band Player, so the two uses of the word “are not sufficiently similar,” according to the judge.

In the complaint, Beckett alleged that Urban was being “fraudulent and malicious” in marketing the 50-piece acoustic guitar kit, which includes a signature guitar, instructional DVD series and other items.

Urban’s “use of the trade name and trademark Player … are likely to deceive and will continue to deceive the consuming public,” leading to “irreparable injury” to his band, Beckett claimed.

The plaintiff contended that if an injunction was not granted, “one day consumers may come to believe that ‘Baby Come Back’ was written and performed” by Urban rather than Beckett.

Beckett also argued that the Grammy Award-winning performer needs to link his name to the band Player because “if not for his marriage to Nicole Kidman and if not for his appearance as a judge on the tail end of the now- canceled ‘American Idol,’ defendant Urban’s fame would be limited to country fans for just a few more years.”

Tags: in Crime, News
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