Just a few months after its filing, a judge has ruled against Black Flag’s Greg Ginn and his lawsuit aimed at former members Keith Morris and Henry Rollins. In short, Ginn’s lawsuit is designed to halt the two former singers’ use of the Black Flag name and logo. Morris himself has teamed up with former Black Flag members Dez Cadena, Chuck Dukowski, and Bill Stevenson performing under the name Flag, while Rollins has been accused of using the logo on supposed bootleg shirts and albums. According to Ginn’s attorney, both had filed trademark applications with information labeled as ‘not truthful.’
If the lawsuit seems a bit juvenile and spiteful, then you’ve pretty much summed it up. Ginn’s lawsuit didn’t make it too far in the proceedings, as a judge ruled that first and foremost that the SST label and Ginn himself have no rights whatsoever to the name or logo. Secondly, given that no one in the band or the label had ‘policed’ the name or logo for 30+ years, this lawsuit is a bit too late to be even remotely effective. Additionally, the judge found that there is no confusion caused by Flag being on the road, leading fans to believe they are Black Flag specifically. And as for the ‘not truthful’ trademark applications on behalf of Morris and Rollins, they were made in good faith and not deemed fraudulent.
Black Flag was originally formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California, and had quite the revolving door of members throughout its existence. Original vocalist Keith Morris appeared on their early recordings and departed the group in 1979. Henry Rollins would come to join the group in 1981 and appear on some of their most well-known albums, such as “Damaged” and “My War,” and would remain the band’s vocalist until its demise in 1986.
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