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Blue Bands Settle Name Dispute

(VIP) LONDON — Two bands called Blue have settled a High Court battle over the fact they have the same name. Current boy band Blue agreed with 70s rock group Blue that they could each continue to be known as, and trade under, their names.

The old Blue had wanted to sue the new Blue and its record label EMI for up to £5m to prevent them using the name, saying their own career and reputation was being damaged.

Mr. Justice Laddie was told that a "passing-off" claim by the old band seeking damages and an injunction to stop the new band using the name would be dismissed by consent.

The Scottish-based 70s band agreed to a £100,000 legal costs order against them.

However, the new Blue and their record company EMI/Virgin pledged it would not be enforced so long as the old band did not pursue their complaint by other means.

The judge – who observed at the start of the case last Friday that fans were hardly likely to confuse one band with the other in view of the age difference – described the settlement as "very sensible".

Charles Purle QC, represented the old Blue, which consists of brothers Hugh and David Nicholson, Ian MacMillan and the Nicholsons' elder brother and manager Matt.

Mr. Purle said they were content not to pursue their claim so long as they could continue using their name.

"Whether the desire to have an order for £100,000 costs is to satisfy the men in suits or the PR services, we don't know, but it is academic because my clients have no intention of acting otherwise than in accordance with their undertaking."

'Band of brothers'

The band had a single released in 1977 which got to number 18 in the charts, and have since released 16 singles, seven albums and several remixes.

They said "we're just a band of brothers", and added: "We still believe in the merits of our case, but the financial risks of continuing would have been potentially catastrophic.

"We felt it was better to settle this now."

Mr. Justice Laddie appeared surprised on Friday when the older band's barrister said their reputation was being threatened.

"Are you seriously saying that fans of one group would mistake one for the other?" he asked Mr. Purle.

"There is somewhat a difference of appearance. One is aged like you and me, the other is a boy band."

The new Blue band – Duncan James, Anthony Costa, Lee Ryan and Simon Webbe – have had seven top 10 hits including three number ones.

They are currently working on their third album.

Record company EMI/Virgin said in a statement on Monday: "We always believed there was no merit in this claim and are delighted the judge has agreed with us.

"Though we were awarded costs, we do not intend to pursue for them at this time."

According to