Sean O’Leary, lead singer of the USA band One Direction has commented on the band’s impending lawsuit filed against Syco Records – Simon Cowell’s record label.
The band from Tres Pinos, California are suing Cowell’s record label and Sony Records for trademark infringement regarding their British namesake; seeking more than $1 million (£630,000) in damages.
Eighteen year old Bassist, Scott Nagereda said we will not be “intimidated” by Simon Cowell.
“[Cowell] is obviously a very smart man,” he told BBC Newsbeat. “But we are not intimidated, the lawsuit isn’t a popularity contest, our name has been infringed.”
Earlier this week, One Direction’s (USA) lawyer, Peter Ross told American media that they had been:
“…in negotiations for a month to find a resolution.”
Stylistically, the two bands could not be more different. Whilst the UK One Direction do not play their own instruments and are classified within the Pop genre, the USA namesake are self-confessed rockers, all playing their own instruments.
When asked how he came up with the name which has now caused such contention, O’Leary said:
“When I was small and tried to start things up, my dad would always advise me you’re at the bottom so there’s only one direction to go. And that was the attitude I needed for the band.”
One Direction US were first made aware of the British One Direction whilst they were performing on X-Factor in 2010.
Since filing the lawsuit, the American band have received multiple death threats. O’Leary revealed that “ninety-nine per cent” of them had come from British fans.
“We’re not trying to upset anyone. We just want to keep what’s rightfully ours,” he said.”
Court papers filed on 9 April from California Central District Court, state that the US band are suffering “substantial confusion and substantial damage” because of the UK group, who recently sold out their debut US tour.