AceShowbiz - John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono threatens to take legal action against a Polish beverage company that sells John Lemon soda. The 84-year-old multimedia artist alleges that the soft drink infringed on her late husband's trademark.
Yoko's legal team has warned the company, Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks, and its distributors across Europe that they will face costs of up to 5,000 euros a day and 500 euros for every bottle sold if they don't rebrand. "They were abusing and misusing the legacy of John Lennon to sell their soda," a rep for Yoko claims.
The company reportedly uses obvious allusions to the former member of The Beatles in their marketing strategy, such as using the phrase "Let It Be", which is the title of the legendary group's 1970 album and hit song.
Not wanting to proceed the case in the courtroom, the company has decided to rebrand its product to On Lemon. As a part of the settlement, the company will sell up its stock of John Lemon soda by the end of October. Despite the settlement, lawyers who act for Mr Lemonade note that their client disagreed with Yoko's claim.
"The company we represent was surprised by the claim," the lawyers told Rolling Stone in a statement. "Our client disagreed with the claim by Yoko Ono. Each party had its own arguments, However, what was the most important arguments from the perspective of the polish company, the trade mark 'John Lemon' is registered in EUIPO in favor of our client since 2014 and the application to register the 'John Lennon' trade mark was filed by Yoko Ono in 2016."
They added, "Having everything in mind, in order to avoid extremely high cost of court proceeding (especially the risk of awarding full compensation of legal representation costs in case of negative ruling) and to avoid the risk of banning the current production of the John Lemon lemonades to secure claim, our client decided to conclude a settlement," which took into account the interests of both parties.