Yoko Ono Says She Is <em>Not</em> Suing Lennon Murphy

Jess Harvell | February 15, 2008 8:49 am

So earlier this week we brought you the story of Lennon Murphy, a Florida hard rocker who was attempting to trademark her first name since it also happens to be the name of her band. This news had apparently aroused the ire of Yoko Ono, administrator of the estate of one John Lennon; Ono was widely reported to have filed a lawsuit against Murphy for her trademarking efforts. Murphy quickly fired back on her own Web site, claiming that A.) Ono didn’t seem to have a problem when the “Lennon” name was previously trademarked by Murphy back in 2003; B.) she doesn’t have the $50k (!) to spend on legal fees that she would need to fight such a suit; and C.) that it was ridiculous to think anyone would mistake a female-fronted heavy rock band with the beyond-ubiquitous work of one of the most famous rock stars on the planet. And now Ono has sent out her own statement to various Web publications that have covered the story–including one in our very own comments box–claiming that she is not suing Murphy after all, just asking the trademark people to not grant Murphy her re-up. Idolator reader YokoOnoLennon‘s full remarks about the week-long Lennon saga are after the jump.


Dear Friends

A musician named Lennon Murphy is claiming that Yoko Ono has sued her and that Yoko is seeking to stop Lennon Murphy from performing under her name, Lennon Murphy. Both of these claims are untrue.

Several years ago, Lennon Murphy sought Yoko’s permission to do her performances under her name, Lennon Murphy. Yoko, of course, did not object to her request. Subsequently, without Yoko’s knowledge, Lennon Murphy filed an application in the United States trademark Office requesting the exclusive right to utilize the name “Lennon” for musical performances. Yoko’s attorneys asked Lennon Murphy’s attorneys and manager to withdraw her registration of exclusivity to the name LENNON for the trademark. Yoko also offered to cover all costs Lennon Murphy had incurred in filing for the trademark. But Lennon Murphy went ahead to register.

Yoko did not sue Lennon Murphy, but sought to stop her from getting the exclusive right to the name Lennon for performance purposes. For that, Yoko’s attorneys, simply notified the Trademark office that Yoko did not believe it was fair that Ms. Murphy be granted the exclusive right to the “Lennon” trademark in relation to musical and entertainment services. As you can see, this is a very important issue for Yoko and the Lennon family.

Yoko says: “I am really hurt if people thought that I told a young artist to not use her own name in her performances and had sought to sue her. I did no such thing. I hope this allegation will be cleared.”

Thank you for your kind attention,


(This is, of course, most likely Ono’s management, given the whole talking-in-the-third-person thing. Not that I wouldn’t love to think the author of “Walking On Thin Ice” is sitting around reading our thoughts on the Jonas Brothers and American Idol. But c’mon.)

EARLIER: Lennon To Ono: Thanks For Ruining My Mother’s Legacy With Your Lawsuit