Culture Music, , , , , , , — January 12, 2012 13:14 — 0 Comments

Velvets try to block iconic banana being used on iPhone and iPad covers

Iconic 60s rockers the Velvet Underground are in dispute with the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts over its famous Warhol-designed banana being used on covers for Apple iPads and iPhones.

The band have launched a lawsuit after reading newspaper reports that the foundation had agreed to license the banana for a series of cases, sleeves and bags planned for the iPhone and iPad.

The Velvets  have accused the Andy Warhol Foundation of trademark infringement, claiming that the banana album design – with “Peel slowly and see” printed near the tip – was synonymous with their work.

Apple is not named as a defendant in the civil case filed in Manhattan federal court.

The group broke up in 1973, but the work later came to be regarded as one of the best albums of all time and was nicknamed ‘The Banana Album’, but the design was never officially copyrighted.

“The symbol has become so identified with the Velvet Underground … that members of the public, particularly those who listen to rock music, immediately recognise the banana design as the symbol of the Velvet Underground,” the complaint added.

Legal papers also claimed the band had repeatedly asked the foundation to stop licensing the banana design to third parties “in a manner likely to cause confusion or mistake as to the association of Velvet Underground with the goods sold in commerce by such third parties”.

The Velvet Underground is seeking an injunction preventing the use of the banana by third parties, a declaration that the Andy Warhol Foundation has no copyright interest in the design, unspecified damages, and a share of the profits made by the foundation from any licensing deals.

The foundation declined to comment at time of going to press.

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About the author

Tony Myers has written 866 articles for Smart Movie Making

Fooling around with the iPhone since 2010. Taking it to the next web by writing about new media, new technology, new wave cinema and the digital revolution.

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