Las Vegas Sun

April 20, 2014

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Legal fight over The Platters headed back to Las Vegas court

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PR Newswire

Herb Reed, founder and naming member of The Platters, has filed a trademark lawsuit against Nevada entertainer Monroe Powell over Powell’s use of the group’s name.

The Platters was one of the most successful vocal groups of the 1950s.

Since then, there have been at numerous lawsuits claiming the right to use the name. The trademark infringement actions have stretched from Florida to New York to California and one is now back in the U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today that U.S. District Court Judge Miranda Du was wrong in issuing a preliminary injunction in the latest action.

Du granted a preliminary order in favor of Herb Reed Enterprises to stop Larry Marshak of Florida Entertainment Management from using The Platters name.

There have been conflicting opinions in other courts over this trademark infringement issue.

In granting the preliminary injunction, Du said there could be irreparable harm to Reed Enterprises if Marshak continued to use the name.

The appeals court, however, ruled there must be facts, such as monetary damages, presented of harm before a preliminary injunction can be issued in these infringement cases.

The appeals court said Du’s decision was “grounded in platitudes rather than evidence” and sent the case back to the Las Vegas court.

The Platters was formed in 1953 with Herb Reed as one of its founders.

The group broke up in the 1960s, and the breakup has led to multiple legal disputes among the original members and their current and former managers over the ownership of The Platters name.

The group had 40 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 List and its songs included “Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and “Only You.”

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