Published Apr 17, 2008Well, it appears Ralf and Florian have put some fear into Kling Klang, causing the UK band to retool their words regarding a looming lawsuit involving German electronic pioneers Kraftwerk. As previously reported , Kling Klang received a cease-and-desist order from the aging man-machines, ordering them to drop the name Kling Klang since it a registered trademark of Krafwerk.
Kling Klang (meaning "ding dong in German) is also the name of Kraftwerks recording studio and publishing/merchandising company. However, Kraftwerk spell their ding dong as one word, whereas the Rock Action-signed band use two something that might prove to the UK groups saving grace if this actually goes to court. Perhaps this fact made Kling Klang a bit cocky, or perhaps it was something else, but the band earlier said they were "not too prone to accept Kraftwerks request and that the band should be "paternally gratified that Kling Klang chose the name they have.
In the wake of these words, which some might construe as "fightin words, Kling Klang have released this carefully worded and likely lawyer-approved statement:
"This is the first and only official statement of the UK band Kling Klang regarding news of possible legal action being taken against the band by Kraftwerk. Any previously quoted statements cannot have been issued by the band, who currently have no official management.
"In Cologne on Sunday 6th April the UK band Kling Klang were issued with a document by representatives of Messrs. Ralf Hutter & Florian Schneider of the German band Kraftwerk. The document is an order to cease and desist using the name "Kling Klang" as the name of the group. Since Messrs. Hutter & Schneider own the trademark 'Klingklang' (the name of Kraftwerk's studio, and publishing/merchandising companies), they feel that use of the term 'Kling Klang' as a band name is an infringement of their trademark rights.
"While aware of Kraftwerk's utilisation of the term as a single word, the band Kling Klang arrived at their name by way of an onomatopoeic reference to a guitar improvisation of binary structure. 'Klang' is a German word for 'sound', 'kling' means 'bell', thus 'kling klang' means literally 'bell-sound' and can be used in the same way as the English term 'ding-dong'. The term (as two words) appears to be in popular usage in more than one language, and the band in no way thought they would be infringing upon the trademark rights of Messrs. Hutter and Schneider in utilising this term as a name for their group. No disrespect or plagiarism was intended, nor was there any intent to confuse audiences or to in some way capitalise on Kraftwerk's legacy. The music of the group Kling Klang, while influenced to some degree by Kraftwerk (as so many musicians have been), sounds very different and has it's own original elements as well as many other influences.
"The band have used the name Kling Klang without incident for a number of years and did not anticipate becoming well-known enough for their name to matter. However, the band completely understand Kraftwerk's concerns in protecting their trademark. Kling Klang hold Kraftwerk in the highest esteem as inspirational musicians and hope to resolve this matter quickly and amicably.
"Any previously published statements which purport to represent the band's opinions or indicate their intentions should be disregarded."