When In Rome Name Dispute

A trademark infringement claim involving members of 1980s band When In Rome is causing some friction as the parties work things out.

Original singers Clive Farrington and Andrew Mann and keyboard player Michael Floreale, aka Michael Nuttall, recorded and toured as When In Rome for several years, landing hits including 1988’s “The Promise,” until the three parted ways in the early 1990s.

Farrington and Mann remained in the UK and Floreale moved to the States, where in 2006 he put together a new band, also called When In Rome, and trademarked the name for use in the U.S.

The infringement claim stems from when Farrington and Mann decided last year to reform and go back out on the road under When In Rome UK. They were informed they can’t use the name in the States.

In a statement, Farrington told Pollstar he and Mann knew Floreale trademarked the name but claim it was done under false pretenses.

“It is a fact that Michael has trademarked the band name but in our opinion, and our legal advisers’, this was done fraudulently as Michael did so by A) declaring that we had given him permission to do so and B) we had given him written confirmation that we had retired from the music industry,” Farrington said. “Both of these points stated by Michael are untrue.”

Added to the mix is Floreale’s infringement claim against Rob Juarez, a former WIR member and owner of The Boss Booking Agency in California. Juarez works with and represents Mann and Farrington, and has applied for a trademark on the name When In Rome Revisited, a tribute band he represents.

Floreale said he’s putting the kibosh on Juarez’s application.

“The touchstone of any trademark infringement case is the likelihood of confusion – that is, the alleged infringer will be prohibited from using a trademark on a competing product if that use causes a likelihood of confusion in the mind of a relevant purchaser,” he said in a statement. “Under trademark law the name When In Rome cannot be used in the main title of a band. That is why the band applied for a trademark – to protect [its] rights and livelihood.

“This application has been protested and as has already been pointed out, the When In Rome Revisited application ticks every box in an infringement case. The application will be denied.”

Juarez declined to comment.

In order to comply with the legal claim, the UK members, who are touring with “Lost 80s Live,” are billed as “Clive Farrington and Andrew Mann formerly of When In Rome” for U.S. gigs but will use When In Rome outside the States.

“Going forward, Andrew and I have been given the opportunity to resurrect our musical careers – something we both feel passionate about – and will use all our available resources to pursue,” Farrington said.