Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Hall and Oates have filed suit against Early Bird Foods and Company for copyright infringement due to the “phonetic play on Daryl Hall and John Oates’ well-known brand name.” The product in question, a brand of granola produced by Early Bird Foods called, Haulin’ Oats. The lawsuit was filed in New York on Wednesday at the U.S. District Court under the duo’s company name, Whole Oats Enterprises. The case, which began in April when Early Bird Foods was sent a cease and desist, yet refused to comply, states that over the years, several companies have attempted “to make a connection between the artists’ names and oats-related products.”
Under the lawsuit, the band are asking that Early Bird Foods stop using the name Haulin’ Oats, destroy all materials bearing the mark, and give up any profits already made. A spokesperson for the group said, “Early Bird Foods’ use of the mark on their own products is likely to confuse consumers and lead them to believe that such products are affiliated with or approved by Hall and Oates, which is not the case.” Nekisia Davis, owner of the Brooklyn-based company, has yet to give an actual statement; her only comment being “say it isn’t so,” which is also being used as a one time promotional coupon code for the product.
At the height of their fame, Philadelphia natives Hall and Oates had over thirty songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, six of those number one hits, including “Maneater,” “Rich Girl,” and “Private Eyes.” After meeting at a band competition where rival gangs had a shootout forcing the two into a service elevator, the duo eventually went on to record more than ten albums; seven of which were certified platinum and six certified gold. The award-winning band, who are in the midst of touring, recently recalled the time Michael Jackson admitted he was quite inspired by them. In an interview with HuffPost Live, Hall said that the King of Pop had approached them during a “We Are the World” recording and said, “Hey man, I hope you don’t mind if I stole ‘No Can Do’…I used it for ‘Billie Jean.'” Despite Jackson’s comment, Hall admits that even today he still sees no similarities between the two songs.
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