Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 2 October 2014

Making his mind up on Bucks Fizz

Former Bucks Fizz members Cheryl Baker, left, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston arrive at the Trade Mark Registry in London

A hearing officer is still making his mind up over who should be allowed to use the band name Bucks Fizz.

Thirty years after the original group's Eurovision win there are two acts vying for the right to use the name.

Cheryl Baker, Mike Nolan and Jay Aston have performed at a packed London Palladium under the name The Original Bucks Fizz.

But the fourth member of the original line-up, Bobby G, recruited three new members including his wife Heidi Manton, who now owns the copyright of the name Bucks Fizz.

When Baker, Nolan and Aston tried to trademark their band name, The Original Bucks Fizz, Bobby G - real name Robert Gubby - objected. This led to a counter objection against his use of Bucks Fizz.

On Friday Allan James, principal hearing officer at the Intellectual Property Office (IPO), heard evidence from both sides and said he would give a final decision in five to six weeks.

Speaking after the hearing Baker said: "He (Gubby) has no right to stop us from working. We don't want it all but we do want our share. We've got an album that should have been released by now and we can't because of the dispute over the name, so it's affecting our livelihood."

The trio's solicitor Dean Dunham said there had been a verbal agreement between the two parties to use the different names. He also said that Bucks Fizz fans had been left "disappointed" to discover they had booked tickets for a band featuring only one member of the original line-up. The name Bucks Fizz was applied for in 1997 and registered in 2001 after a legal dispute.

Mr Gubby said confusion had been caused since Aston had started performing again with Baker and Nolan in 2009 and their profile had risen. Mr Gubby said he felt entitled to claim his band was the "original" act because it had a "direct connection" right back to when it was first founded.

Comparing the situation with acts such as The Drifters and The Supremes, he said bands often had line-up changes throughout the years and this did not mean the public was being deceived.

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