(CN) - A music promoter used the trademarked band name of R&B group Herb Reed and the Platters to promote another band, claims the company formerly owned Herb Reed, who died Monday.
Herb Reed was the only member of The Platters who stayed with the band for its multi-decade career. The doo-wop group that formed in 1953 had a slew of hits, including "The Great Pretender" and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes"
Reed died on Monday at the age of 83. He is survived by a son and three grandsons.
The group faced a number of legal battles over the year, and in 2003 Reed registered the mark "Herb Reed and the Platters" and transferred the rights to his company, Herb Reed Enterprises.
Herb Reed Enterprises says Cape Entertainment, a booking agency that represents artists from the doo-wop era, uses his trademarks on its website.
"Defendants do not disclose on their site that the groups they promote using Herb Reed's image and likeness and the mark 'Herb Reed and the Platters' is not plaintiff's group, but is instead an unrelated group that has no connection to the original Platters founded and named by Herbert Reed," the lawsuit states.
Actor and musician Jay Della Valle contacted Reed's manager, Frederick Balboni Jr., after Della Valle found Cape Entertainment's website in a search for The Platters' booking agent for a show, according to the complaint.
Della Valle had asked the company for confirmation that Herb Reed would be performing, and Cape explained that this was a different group.
"NO, Herb Reed is not there! These are The Platters that work all over the World, Including Vegas, and own the trademark, Herb Reed is not in The Platters," the email said, according to the complaint.
Reed's company said it did not give Cape permission to use his name to promote another version of The Platters, and sued the company and its owner Gary Cape in federal court in Boston.
The lawsuit was filed on June 5, the day after Reed's death.
Herb Reed Enterprises is represented by Eric Sommers in Portsmouth, N.H.