The "New" DEEP PURPLE feat. Rod Evans
Billboard Magazine – March 14, 1981




Judge Orders Big Award For Infringing Act's Name

Billboard magazine, 14.03.1981


LOS ANGELES. In what is probably a U.S. record-high damages award for infringing on an entertainer's trademark, members of the act, Deep Purple, and its management firm, HEC Enterprises, are to receive $672,012.44 from Deep Purple Inc., a California firm, and four area musicians.
In addition, Deep Purple Inc. and local players Geoffrey W. Emery, Roderick Evans, Tony Flynn and Dick Jergins are responsible for $103,191.52 in attorney fees for HEC Enterprises' counsel and $40,782 for legal fees of other plaintiffs.

The stiff monetary award was handed down by Federal District Court Judge Manuel L. Real here. Compensatory damages of $168,03.11 and $504,09.33 in exemplary damages were awarded.
In late 1980, Judge Real appointed Martin Fox of Bernstein Fox Accountancy to determine damages  and attorneys'  fees. At the same time, the judge ruled that the defendant company and the four musicians were permanently enjoined from using the name, "Deep Purple" or any mark confusingly similar thereto in connection with performances, recordings or related entertainment. The judge also ordered the defendants to deliver up for destruction all materials carrying the "Deep Purple" logo.

In June 1980, HEC and the Deep Purple group members Richard Blackmore, Roger Glover, David Coverdale, Ian Paice, Jon Lord and Ian Gillan filed suit against the defendants, charging they had put together a group, "Deep Purple," composed of the defendants and had worked some concerts under the disputed name. In additon, Emery had applied to register the name, "Deep Purple" as a service mark in Washington, D.C. and in this state. The complaint also charged the defendants were working  concerts in the western U.S. under the debated name.

Judge Robert Kelleher, originally designated to hear the dispute, denied a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against the defendants in late June 1980. Counsel for the defendants argued that Deep Purple was no longer a working group and that the group was essentially an instrumental act, wherein all original members were not essential. Evans, they stated, was the original vocalist.
Plaintiff countered that Evans had mutually agreed to his departure early in the group's career with the understanding he was to receive royalties from some of the group's early albums only. Defendants contended that Deep Purple's roster changed often. They argued, too, that the plaintiff group members were all with different groups in England, so it could be asumed the act would never regroup.

Ernest Heath Reid, a guiding fiscal force in HEC, supplied the court with actual royalties received by Deep Purple. He broke down the royalties in pounds sterling for various different membered groups through the career of the group as follows:
1st group:  44.663, 2nd: 4,371.215, 3rd: 1.125.668 and 4th: 283.059

John Sippel, 1981