Yoko Ono, does not want you using her late spouse's name for your business. In response to a Polish beverage company’s new drink, called the “John Lemon,” Ono threatened to file a trademark infringement lawsuit if Mr Lemonade Alternative did not pick a new name.
Per Reuters, the company has agreed to change its drink’s name to “On Lemon,” after Ono's counsel informed distributors that they would face costs of up to 5,000 euros ($5,998) per day and 500 euros for every bottle sold.
Despite Mr Lemonade Alternative's willingness to change the name, its lawyers deny that the company infringed the late star’s rights and called attention to the fact that the company has held a European Union trademark registrations for “John Lemon” since 2014. That is two years earlier than the John Lennon trademark was registered in 2016.
Ono’s lawyers were particularly concerned with the usage of the name in connection with imagery of the former Beatles member. “Marketing materials included the brand’s logo next to the words “let it be” and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon,” per Reuters.
Karol Chamera, the founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks, which distributed the John Lemon beverage, said in a statement: “All of us involved with this product are startups and we couldn’t take on someone who is worth many, many millions.”