In another victory for the artists of the 50's and 60's, a federal judge has issued an injunction against a man using the name The Platters without having a heritage with the group.
For years, many early rock and soul vocal groups have seen their names used by artists who have no connection with the original group, many times giving the audience the idea that they are seeing historical performers. Thirty-three states have passed Truth-in-Music laws prohibiting such performers, requiring at least one member of the group to have a connection to the original and a federal law is making its way through congress.
Nevada is one of those states and federal judge Phillip M. Pro used the law to issue an injunction against Monroe Powell who had been using the name The Platters Featuring the Legendary Michael Powell in performances in Las Vegas and other venues around the country. In doing so, he reaffirmed Herb Reed as the only remaining member of the group and the controller of the trademark.
In his 14-page ruling, Judge Pro acknowledged that numerous courts have been asked for years to decide who is "The Great Pretender" when it comes to deciding who actually holds the rights to the famous Platters name writing, "'Only You, Herb Reed have exclusive rights to the mark "The Platters."" He enjoined Powell from using "The Platters" and "any equivalent or phonetically similar names or marks, in connection with any vocal group in any advertisements, promotional, marketing, or other materials..."
Judge Pro went on to state two exceptions, writing that Powell "may use the mark "The Platters" if the word "Tribute" or "Revue" is included and when displayed or advertised, the word "Tribute" or "Revue" is at least one half the font size of 'The Platters."
Responding to today's decision Reed said, "After more than 30 years of court battles that at one time spawned more than 100 groups performing somewhere in the world as "The Platters" the court is restoring my identity to me as the founder and only surviving member of the vocal group. This way, my legacy is and will continue as I intended in 1953."