Tony Iommi Sues Signatures

Live Nation merch subsidiary Signatures Network was hit with a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement Dec. 16 by Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.

Live Nation purchased Signatures Networks in 2007 for $79 million, giving the promotion company control of the rights to license and market merchandise for artists including The Beatles, U2, Bruce Springsteen and Barbra Streisand.

Iommi, who co-founded Black Sabbath in 1968 with Ozzy Osbourne, bassist Geezer Butler and drummer Bill Ward, claims he retained control of the band’s trademarks as other original members left the band. He charges Signatures Network with illegally selling merchandise using images of the band, according to the lawsuit obtained by Bloomberg News.

The guitarist alleges that Signatures sold merchandise with images of Iommi and Black Sabbath’s trademarked symbol after a licensing agreement between the company and the heavy metal band expired in 2006.

According to the lawsuit, Signatures continued to sell Black Sabbath merch even after Iommi sent Signatures a letter in April asking the company to cut it out.

The gear in question included about 100 items of clothing, jewelry, posters and fashion accessories.

Iommi is seeking damages of at least three times Signatures’ profits from the merchandise and an end to the sales