Neighborhoods in uproar: Seminal local band sues national label in trademark dispute

The Neighborhoods "Prettiest Girl" & "No Place Like Home" TV

The Neighborhoods, one of the mainstays of the 1970s and 1980s rock scene in Boston, are suing Sony Music for alleged trademark infringement because it is now pushing a band called the Neighbourhood.

In a lawsuit filed yesterday in US District Court in Boston, Neighborhoods members David Minehan, Lee Harrington and John Lynch - all still living in the Boston area and still performing - say the new band is diluting their brand by attempting to trade on their well established good name:

In 1980, the Neighborhoods released a single entitled "Prettiest Girl" and "No Place Like Home," which received a great deal of airplay throughout New England and the United States. In 1984, they released a mini-LP entitled "Fire is Coming" followed by "...the high hard one in 1986 and "Reptile Men" in 1987.

The Neighborhoods toured nationally with the Ramones in 1988, and have opened for David Bowie, Tin Machine, Cheap Trick and the Joe Perry Porject. The Neighborhoods were selected by Miller Brewing Company to be one of its nationally sponsored touring acts. Endorsements incident to that selection included national promotional tour support, and instruments which included guitars and drums.

The Neighborhoods want the upstarts, whose first album was released earlier this year and who, despite their spelling, are American, to change their name. They are also seeking damages and lawyer's fees from Sony and the Neighbourhood.

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