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Trademark Board Affirms Jody Watley's Ownership of the Shalamar Name

by VVN Music

In 1977, the group Shalamar hit the disco scene with the song Uptown Festival (Part 1) (1977 / #25 Pop / #10 R&B / #2 Dance) and followed two years later with their biggest hit, The Second Time Around (1979 / #8 Pop / #1 R&B / #1 Dance).

The trio was made up of Jody Watley, Jeffrey Daniel and Gary Mumford (replaced by Gerald Brown and Howard Hewett) and, even though Jody left the group in 1983 and subsequently had her own hits with songs like "Looking For a New Love", "Real Love" and "Everything", she managed to become the owner of the Shalamar trademark.

In 1999, Hewett and Daniel reformed Shalamar with Carolyn Griffey, the step-daughter of Dick Griffey who had "created" Shalamar with Soul Train host Don Cornelius. The trio toured for a number of years under the Shalamar name.

Then, four year ago, Carolyn Griffey challenged Watley's trademark of Shalamar claiming that she was the sole owner of the name. Watley countered in October of last year and, earlier today (February 21), Jody announced that the Trademarks and Appeals Board had ruled in her favor saying that the petitioner (Griffey) had never submitted evidence of her claims.

In addition, the board dismissed the case "with prejudice" which means that the ruling cannot be appealed.

In a lengthy statement, Watley also claims that Griffey, Carrie Lucas and their colleagues and representatives damaged Watley's reputation with booking agents, promoters and various media outlets "without my opportunity to refute the false claims in their efforts to ruin my reputation as well as undermine, thwart and encourage non-support of my new group endeavors now named (Jody Watley ft. SRL)."

Jody also says that the ruling puts to an end Griffey, Hewett and Daniel's use of Watley's likeness in promoting their endeavors.

She concluded "I hope my efforts will inspire other artists to be more diligent about business matters and for those who have been in groups to be more proactive in how their likeness is used in the public, avoiding misrepresentation to talent buyers and fans over time allowing others to benefit and profit from your original works, image and likeness potentially damaging your own livelihood in the process."