LAS VEGAS (CN) - Two original members of Little Anthony & The Imperials are fighting in court over rights to the name of the R&B doo-wop group.
Clarence Collins sued Anthony Gourdine in Clark County Court.
Collins claims he created the group with Gourdine in 1958, and Gourdine is performing under the band's name without permission.
The group's first single, "Tears on my Pillow," was an instant hit. They also recorded the bestselling "Shimmy, Shimmy, Ko Ko Bop," "Goin' Out of My Head," "Hurt So Bad" and "I'm on the Outside (Looking In)." Little Anthony & The Imperials were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.
Collins claims he was the sole originator of the name and concept for the group, and co-created many of its songs from 1958 until 2006. He says he applied for a trademark on the name in 2006, and it approved in 2010.
In April this year, Collins says, he told Gourdine that he no longer wanted to perform because of age and health reasons, but said he would allow Gourdine to continue to perform using the Little Anthony name.
But they couldn't reach an amicable resolution when they renegotiated a licensing agreement, Collins says, so he hired Callister + Associates attorneys to protect his rights to the name.
Collins claims Gourdine continued to perform under the Little Anthony name without Collins' permission. He says his attorney sent a cease and desist letter, but Gourdine continued to perform using the Little Anthony name, most recently at a concert in New York.
Collins wants Gourdine ordered to stop using the name, and, statutory and punitive damages for trademark infringement, unfair competition, trademark dilution, deceptive trade and fraud.
He is represented by Matthew Q. Callister.