Photo via Demotix
While the thought of the members of the legendary metal band Immortal doing anything in a courthouse is kind of funny, it’s kind of serious. Recently, Abbath (Olve Eikemo) applied for sole proprietorship of the trademark to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, but was stopped by lawyers representing Demonaz (Harald Nœvdal) and Horgh (Reidar Horghagen). This all starts from when Demonaz and Horgh effectively left the band this summer, which Olve wrote about in his letter to the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, saying:
"This summer Olve received amessage from Harald and Reidar indicating that they wanted to take a longer break from [Immortal] after a conflict occurred between Olve and the other two bandmembers,"
"The band rents a rehearsal space where costs were being shared between the three bandmembers. Harald and Reidar did not want to pay their share of the rent since the band, in their opinion, was not active. Olve, as [Immortal's chief] songwriter, was dependent on the rehearsal [space] and was willing to cover the rental costs himself. The other two members then moved out of the premises and stopped paying their share of the rent. Olve perceived this move as them pulling out of the band."
"[Nævdal and Horghagen's objection to Eikemo's application] appears to be an attempt to prevent Olve from engaging in his profession. He has spent 25 years trying to incorporate his character Abbath and his music under the trademark Immortal. It seems unreasonable that the band's ex-members can prevent him from registering the trademark Immortal, especially since they are not qualified and presumably have no desire to take part in any band activities in the future."
After these statements were made, Demonaz and Horgh attorney cited section 21 of the Norwegian Trademarks Act, saying
"Anyone who can prove that he is entitled to a trademark in an application filed by another party may request that the Norwegian Industrial Property Office transfer the application. In such case, the person in question shall pay a new application fee. If there is doubt as to who is entitled to the right, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office may request that the party requesting the application be transferred to him bring legal actions within a time limit fixed by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office. If no such legal actions are brought within the time limit, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office may disregard the request. The party requesting the transfer shall be notified of this. While a transfer case is being examined by the Norwegian Industrial Property Office, the application may not be amended, shelved, refused or granted until the question of transfer has been finally decided. If legal actions have been brought concerning the right to the trademark, the Norwegian Industrial Property Office shall postpone examination of the case concerning registration or transfer until the proceedings have been decided with legally binding effect. The Norwegian Industrial Property Office shall notify the applicant and the party who has requested that the application be transferred to him of the decision in the transfer case. A final decision that the application is to be transferred shall be entered in the Trademark Register and published."
To sum it up, Abbath will essentially have to the opposition legally before the Norwegian Industrial Property Office can make a ruling on the situation. So now, it seems as if the band will have to fight it out in the courts. Maybe they’ll lose the corpse paint and Abbath won’t be crab-walking around? Only time will tell.