The saga of Lady A vs. Lady Antebellum continues: As Rolling Stone reports, Lady A, the Seattle blues singer born Anita White, countersued Nashville pop-country band Lady A — fka Lady Antebellum — this evening in US District Court. The suit is a response to the band’s lawsuit this past summer claiming trademark infringement against White, who has been performing as Lady A for the past two decades.
Lady Antebellum changed their name to Lady A in June during the racial reckoning that followed George Floyd’s killing at the hands of Minneapolis police. Upon learning of White’s existence, they played nice for a while but brought out the legal guns when it became clear she had no intention of relinquishing the Lady A name for anything short of $10 million.
In her new suit claiming trademark infringement and unfair competition, White argues that she has “nationwide common law rights in the trademark LADY A in connection with music and entertainment services in the nature of musical performances.” It further asserts that White’s stake in the name predates “any rights in the LADY A mark allegedly owned by Lady Antebellum,” suggesting that the band’s name change has resulted in “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.”
The effect of the name change on Ms. White’s ability to distinguish her music in the marketplace was overwhelming,” the suit says. “Internet and social media searches for ‘Lady A,’ which had readily returned results for her music, were now dominated by references to Lady Antebellum. Ms. White’s LADY A brand had been usurped and set on the path to erasure.”