Yoko Ono Forces Polish Lemonade Company 'John Lemon' to Change Name
Yoko Ono launches at the Royal Festival Hall on June 12, 2013 in London
Her lawyers cited trademark infringement against her husband’s name and personal rights, saying, "They were abusing and misusing the legacy of John Lennon to sell their soda."
For decades, Beatles fans have accused Yoko Ono of breaking up the band. The veracity of such a claim is up for debate, but Ono Lennon did try to break up a lemonade company that was capitalizing off the name of her late husband, John Lennon.
Ono Lennon’s lawyers recently sent legal letters to John Lemon, a Polish lemonade company established five years ago that distributes to bars and restaurants in the United Kingdom and 13 other European countries, The Guardian reports. Her lawyers cited trademark infringement against her husband’s name and personal rights, telling the East London Advertiser, “They were abusing and misusing the legacy of John Lennon to sell their soda.”
The musician and activist’s legal team also cited a Facebook post by John Lemon Ireland that displayed a mural of Lennon holding lemons with the company’s logo underneath. Other advertisements displayed round glasses that recalled Lennon’s signature frames, along with the words, “Let It Be.”
Upon receiving the letters, John Lemon agreed to change its name to On Lemon.
“All of us involved with this product are startups and we couldn't take on someone who is worth many, many millions,” Mr. Lemonade Alternative Drinks founder Karol Chamera told the East London Advertiser. (Incidentally, "On Lemon" is remarkably similar to "Ono Lennon," though there's nothing she can do about that.)
Hugo Bałaziński of law firm KSP, which represented John Lemon, said the company concluded a settlement to avoid having its lemonade production banned. He noted, however, that John Lemon registered its trademark in 2014, while the John Lennon brand was not registered until last year.
Ultimately, it proved a moot point -- when you've spent so many years engaged in bitter spats with Paul McCartney, you learn how to stand your ground, in court or otherwise.