Lady A Sues Lady A for Use of Name

by Tequila Higgins

            County group trio, “Lady A” (previously known as Lady Antebellum) recently filed a lawsuit against long time Blues singer Anita “Lady A” White for the right to continue using the Lady A moniker. Dating back to June in wake of the widespread protests and riots around police brutality and racial injustice, the country group decided that they didn’t want to continue using the name Antebellum and disassociate themselves with the history of slavery, and therefore start going by Lady A instead. Apparently, the group has been using that name {Lady A} for years on their website, merchandise, and other things.

            On the other hand, White, whom is a Blues singer from Seattle states that she has been using the name Lady A since the 80’s though she never trademarked the name. Her argument is that if the group truly cared about what their original name truly stood for, they would have never named themselves Lady Antebellum to begin with. Why did it take a Black Lives Matter movement for them to want to disassociate themselves with that name and what it stands for?

            “According to the suit filed at the U.S. Middle District Court of Tennessee, the parties had agreed not only to peacefully coexist, but that band Lady A would support singer Lady A's musical career. The suit also says they were collaborating on writing and recording a song together.” Days after this statement, things took a swift turn as White and her legal team filed a $10M lawsuit against Lady A as she felt that they were trying to erase her and what she stood for after all of the years of work she has put in and time and effort to build her namesake, fan base, and so on. “According to the suit, the band applied to register the name Lady A with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in May 2010. It was officially registered July 26, 2011, after no oppositions to the trademark were filed. The suit says White never applied to trademark or register the name Lady A. The suit doesn't ask for White to cease using the name Lady A, or for any monetary damages. ‘Plaintiffs simply wish that the parties continue to coexist,’ it says.”

            To the point of the trademark, White said that she so no need to challenge it as in previous years, they had been going by Lady Antebellum and not Lady A. As for trademarks, trademark law favors who was using the name first over who has the most money or is more famous. However, going into a legal battle between the two parties would be a “David and Goliath situation.” “’If you want to be an advocate or an ally, you help those who you’re oppressing,’ she told Vulture. ‘And that might require you to give up something because I am not going to be erased’.” Hopefully both parties can come to some type of cohesive agreement behind this all.