Two Bands Bicker Over 'One Direction' Name

The popular British boy band One Direction was formed by Simon Cowell. They've come stateside and now Cowell's Syco Entertainment and Sony Music are being sued by attorneys for another band called One Direction — a pop-rock group formed in 2009 in California.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

And I'm Audie Cornish. And this is One Direction.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "WHAT MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL")

ONE DIRECTION: (Singing) If only you saw what I can see, you'll understand why I want you so desperately.

CORNISH: The latest boy band success story - five guys with cute hair, matching outfits with suspenders - and they're British to boot.

SIEGEL: They have topped the Billboard charts and been endorsed by one of the harshest critics in reality TV.

SIMON COWELL: You are the most exciting pop band in the country today.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERING)

SIEGEL: Simon Cowell.

COWELL: I'm being serious.

CORNISH: One Direction is, in fact, a creation of Simon Cowell on his British show "The X Factor." Now, they've come stateside.

SIEGEL: And not everyone in the U.S. is pleased with the arrival of One Direction. Namely, four guys in a California pop-rock group called One Direction.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMING")

DIRECTION: (Singing) I love you. It's true.

SIEGEL: This One Direction has been around since 2009.

CORNISH: And this week, the band sued its British rival and the record label for trademark infringement.

SIEGEL: In a lawsuit filed earlier this week, attorneys for the American band claim the name causes, quote, "substantial confusion." One case in point: NBC's "Today Show" broadcast the faces of the British One Direction while playing the music of the American One Direction.

CORNISH: Awkward.

SIEGEL: The American band points out in a statement that it doesn't have the enormous resources of the British band, but it says: We have rights. We have talent, and we have heart. We are standing up for all of the above.

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