The Velvet Underground lose copyright claim over iconic banana symbol

A New York judge has rejected part of a lawsuit brought by the The Velvet Underground against the the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts over the use of the iconic banana symbol from their 1967 album The Velvet Underground And Nico. In January this year, the defunct 1960s band filed a lawsuit seeking to block its iconic Andy Warhol-designed banana being used on covers for iPads and iPhones after reports that they had agreed to license the design for a series of cases, sleeves and bags.

Trending Now

The Best Of 2020 – Halftime Report

First off, a gentle reminder that our excellent new issue of Uncut is in the shops now, featuring a...

Bob Dylan’s Rough And Rowdy Ways – the definitive review

You've got the album, now read Uncut's essential commentary

Paul McCartney on Let It Be: “All Beatles things are good, period”

Macca and Ringo get back ahead of Peter Jackson's new documentary

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Paul Weller

Even with a new album out this week, and with the pandemic striking at the heart of how musicians...

A New York judge has rejected part of a lawsuit brought by the The Velvet Underground against the the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts over the use of the iconic banana symbol from their 1967 album The Velvet Underground And Nico.

In January this year, the defunct 1960s band filed a lawsuit seeking to block its iconic Andy Warhol-designed banana being used on covers for iPads and iPhones after reports that they had agreed to license the design for a series of cases, sleeves and bags.

According to the lawsuit, the group claimed the banana design is synonymous with The Velvet Underground and demanded that Warhol’s foundation stop licensing the image and pay them for past licensing.

According to the Hollywood Reporter a judge has now ruled that the band do not have a valid copyright claim. However, they can continue pursuing the Foundation for trademark infringement – in which they would need to argue the case that the Foundation’s use of the banana causes “confusion as to … affiliation, approval or sponsorship” by the group.

The Warhol Foundation has responded by pointing to the fact that the Velvet Underground broke up in 1972 and that trademarks are only relevant if they are linked to an ongoing business.

In July, The Velvet underground announced that they would reissue the album as part of a six-disc package on October 1 to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Robert Fripp, Khruangbin, Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever, Laura Marling, Siouxsie & The Banshees, Little Richard and more
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement