ABBA Sue Cover Band for Trademark Infringement

The Swedish pop group — not to be confused with "parasitic" tribute act ABBA MANIA — take a chance on the law

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Dec 7, 2021

Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! the Money, Money, Money: Swedish pop sensations ABBA have officially sued a cover band dedicated to themselves for trademark infringement over having a similar name.

In a lawsuit filed on Friday (December 3), ABBA's representatives reported that the UK-based tribute act ABBA MANIA's behaviour was "parasitic" and in "bad faith." 

The cover band are billed as the "Original Tribute from London's West End" and the "Official ABBA MANIA Tribute Show" — with the use of "original" and "official" being misleading to fans, according to the suit. To the plaintiffs, it seems that the cover project is trying to come across as endorsed by the actual ABBA.

"Defendants include the term 'official' and 'original' in many of their marketing materials, website pages and social media handles, which gives consumers the impression that there is some kind of association, affiliation or sponsorship between ABBA and ABBA MANIA," the document reads [via Billboard].

The lawsuit went on to say that the original act gave ABBA MANIA the chance to change their name ahead of the filing, but their request was denied.

"In an attempt to amicably resolve this dispute, [ABBA] explained how defendants could properly use the phrase 'ABBA Tribute' in a non-confusing manner to describe their tribute act, so long as the actual name of the tribute act did not include the word ABBA," the suit continued. "But Defendants refused to comply and cease use of the name ABBA MANIA."

Tribute acts tend to have names that limit confusion with — and backing from — the original artist; and there are a great many ABBA tribute bands that have named themselves accordingly, like Arrival from Sweden and Bjorn Again. ABBA MANIA have been touring since the year 2000 and are currently on the road in the US. 

When the real ABBA released "Don't Shut Me Down" as one of the lead singles from Voyage, their first album in 40 years, they truly meant business. (Meanwhile, their first-ever Christmas single "Little Things" is more of a warm-and-cozy vibe.)

Maybe we can all learn a little something from an Oasis cover band, of all things — and even Liam Gallagher, whose jealousy of his own tribute act seems very different than this scenario.

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