Rudolph Isley, one of the members of the legendary Isley Brothers, is suing his brother Ronald for filing a trademark registration for the Isley Brothers solely under his name.
In legal documents obtained by EW, Rudolph’s legal team is seeking a judicial declaration that states “The Isley Brothers” trademark is “jointly owned” by both him and Ronald “equally” and asks the judge to require Ronald to pay him his “share of all proceeds” earned from it.
Alongside their older brother O’Kelly Isley, Rudolph and Ronald formed the Isley Brothers in 1954. Throughout the years, Rudolph claimed that the band operated as an “equal partnership under the sole ownership, direction, and control of its founding members,” with the three brothers splitting all expenses, profits, and control of the business even as their lineup grew. Following the death of O’Kelly in 1986, the singer’s interests were passed onto Rudolph and Ronald, leaving them both “with a 50% share of ownership in the Group and the Mark,” according to the complaint.
However, Rudolph alleges that Ronald “filed an application to register exclusive rights in the Mark in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in his own personal name” in November 2021 without Rudolph’s “knowledge or approval.” The suit claims that Ronald has “offered goods and services in commerce to the public” over the last year without his knowledge and “has failed to account to or make payment to [him] in connection with such exploitation of the Mark.”