Lawsuit To Proceed | The Official Ozzy Osbourne Site

Lawsuit To Proceed

On Blabbermouth TODAY (Feb. 26);

According to the New York Post, a Manhattan federal judge ruled yesterday (Thursday, February 25) that Ozzy Osbourne can proceed with his lawsuit against guitarist Tony Iommi over use of the BLACK SABBATH name.

Ozzy filed a lawsuit against Iommi in May 2009, claiming that Iommi illegally took sole ownership of the band's name in a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Osbourne is suing Iommi for a 50 percent interest in the "Black Sabbath" trademark, along with a portion of Iommi's profits from use of the name.

The Manhattan federal court suit also charges that Osbourne's "signature lead vocals" are largely responsible for the band's "extraordinary success," noting that its popularity plummeted during his absence from 1980 through 1996.

Lawyer Andrew DeVore argued yesterday that Osbourne signed away all his rights to the BLACK SABBATH trademark after he quit the band in 1979.

Osbourne's lawyer, Howard Shire, called that agreement a "red herring" that was "repudiated" when the singer rejoined in 1997 and took over "quality control" of the band's merchandise, tours and recordings.

In a statement released on May 29, 2009, Ozzy said about his decision to sue Iommi, "It is with great regret that I had to resort to legal action against my long-term partner Tony Iommi, but after three years of trying to resolve this issue amicably, I feel I have no other recourse.

"As of the mid-1990s, after constant and numerous changes in band members, the brand of 'BLACK SABBATH' was literally in the toilet and Tony Iommi (touring under the name BLACK SABBATH) was reduced to performing in clubs. Since 1997, when Geezer [Butler, bass], Bill [Ward, drums] and myself rejoined the band, BLACK SABBATH has returned to its former glory as we headlined sold-out arenas and amphitheatres playing to upwards of 50,000 people at each show around the world. We worked collectively to restore credibility and bring dignity back to the name 'BLACK SABBATH,' which led to the band being inducted into the U.K. and U.S. Rock And Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006, respectively.

"Throughout the last 12 years, it was my management representatives who oversaw the marketing and quality control of the 'BLACK SABBATH' brand through Ozzfest, touring, merchandising and album reissues. The name 'BLACK SABBATH' now has a worldwide prestige and merchandising value that it would not have had by continuing on the road it was on prior to the 1997 reunion tour.

"Tony, I am so sorry it's had to get to this point by me having to take this action against you. I don't have the right to speak for Geezer and Bill, but I feel that morally and ethically the trademark should be owned by the four of us equally. I hope that by me taking this first step that it will ultimately end up that way. We've all worked too hard and long in our careers to allow you to sell merchandise that features all our faces, old BLACK SABBATH album covers and band logos, and then you tell us that you own the copyright.

"We're all in our 60s now. The BLACK SABBATH legacy should live on long after we have all gone.

"Please do the right thing."


Nice thoughts my olde mate scapegoat. Coming in from the out field with this one! Not sure if it is fully factual, BUT unlike some entries on the topic, it appears to be plausible to me! So can someone back this one up?

Number 1

Personally I think Ozzy is a 100% correct on this issue.

If it hadn't of been for Don Arden's "The Al Capone of Pop" mismanagement, or criminal like guidance of black sabbath the rights and ownership of the name & its money earned would have been split evenly amongst the four of them. The real blame lands on Sharron's father Don & what a greedy useless piece of s*** he was for doing them boys that way, period end of discussion!

They are all victims because of it, only thing is why wait so late after Arden's death to rectify this issue, there is where I tend to blame Iommi, why are you dragging your feet on doing something that should have been done from the beginning when you signed on with Arden, I mean WTF Iommi???

Just my 2 cents...

Peace Scapegoat

As I have said on countless occasions it was geezer WHO came up with the NAME of the Band. A band set up with 4 friends who acted as equal partners. Read the Book I Am Ozzy, and Ozzy is quite candid about the early days Tony's family were the most well off and helped Ozzy, Tony was the first to leave the band to join Jethro Tull.

On the Video/DVD Last Supper Geezer says they were jealous of Ozzy's money. It was just a twist of fate when Ozzy was sacked and Sharon kicked him into shape to the real Star that he is today.

Ozzy has had greater success than Black Sabbath after his departure (please correct me if I am wrong) so when they get back togethor the original clash of personality is greater as Ozzy has has control over HIS and for longer than he was with Black Sabbath.

SO I say yet again, Tony Pull your head in talk to one another and come to an amicable solution even if it is from this day forth equal shares. Legal acton IS going to be very expensive and someone will come off the worst!


Number 1

Well said tinkertrain

I try not to think ill of Tony Iommi but his actions over the years do lead you to believe he is a greedy, selfish man who for some reason decided he was the boss of Black Sabbath. I wish the four of them would just get a long. Share the money and the memories!

You can replace the musician BUT NOT the singer

Number 1

Of course Ozzy has grounds. And I for one think it's just plumb flat out the right thing to do. I stand and applaud him for doing this. I felt Sabbath ended the day he was gone. It's the truth. Ozzy will forever live in my heart as that young kid who just made life so fricking cool with my friends...his soul and his sound are unique, and nobody can ever live up to what the four of them together were. Same thing with Van Halen, Pink Floyd, Creed, and all the greats who together are magic when they form around a totally unique vocalist. Ozzy definitely hands down is that. I am SO GLAD they acknowledged his voice - it's an instrument...and when that was gone, the band just never was the same. I'm sorry, but it's true. Sabbath is Iommi, Ward, Butler, and Osbourne. It just is!

yes, well Ozzien you must have strangely focused glasses on...when I read the dialogue there was venom but there were comments that supported equal shares for all to Sabbath. I would hardly say nobody supported Ozzy in this, that is a big distortion of what's there.

Dio/Iommi fans and Ozzy haters live on that site and and are sure to post a plethora of nasty-grams whenever something is printed. probably in several pseudo-identities. loyal Ozzy fans don't live there with any regularity to rip those idiots a new one because they're off being pleasant people and living their lives. but they do show up from time to time.

what's your position on this Ozzien?

100% divided by 4 people = 25% each Ozzy...

You're my religion, you're my reason to live.
You are the heaven in my hell.
We've been together for a long long time,
And i just can't live without you.
No matter what you do, i'm here for you......

wow.....i say they should have equal shares..they were the original Black Sabbath....


yes equal shares,,this is sadness,tony should of known this and had some forsight and done the right thing

This is unforunately going to be very messy and expensive, equal shares for ALL members

Number 1

There's no support on Blabbermouth for Ozzy normally. I try to avoid the comments and just read the news :-)

Not one fan comment hat followed the article was in support of Ozzy.

Angels on fire, they fall from the sky.
Heaven and hell will be burning tonight.
Covered in ashes I cry out your name
But out of the flame, we shall rise again.

The rest of the article;

Osbourne added in a separate online post, "I am very saddened that I've had to take legal action against Tony. This is something that I've tried to avoid for years. I am not Geezer or Bill's voice. However, 'till the day I die I will not change my mind on this issue. The BLACK SABBATH trademark should be equally owned by Geezer, Bill, Tony and I as the true BLACK SABBATH lineup is Tony, Geezer, Bill and I. We've all been mates since school. I've always said there is an invisible thread that holds us together.

"Tony, let's get this ridiculous issue sorted and move on with our lives. You're 61, I'm 60. I hope that we've got a good 20 years left in us. But if not, God forbid something happens to you. What's going to happen to the BLACK SABBATH trademark? Who's going to oversee it? Don't you think after we're long gone the rights should stay in your family, my family, Bill's family and Geezer's family?"

Ozzy's suit follows one filed by Iommi in December 2008 against Live Nation. In that filing, Iommi claims the concert giant sold merchandise bearing the band's logo, despite the 2006 expiration of a merchandising deal, reportedly worth nearly $80 million. Soon after that agreement concluded, Iommi reclaimed the band's trademark.

Iommi's suit argues Live Nation continued to sell more than 100 items of merchandise featuring the band's likeness, name and logo, despite the receipt of cease-and-desist orders from the guitarist's camp. Iommi's suit seeks damages in the amount of three times the profits from the merchandise sales, plus a halt to the BLACK SABBATH product sales.

Iommi and SABBATH bassist Geezer Butler both said some less than kind things about working with Osbourne in a spring 2009 interview with Decibel magazine. The pair released a new studio album as HEAVEN & HELL, the post-Ozzy version of SABBATH featuring vocalist Ronnie James Dio, and Butler said that working with Dio was much easier than Osbourne. He explained, "Ronnie's a songwriter in his own right — he's got tons of ideas. Whereas Ozzy . . . in the old days, he'd come up with a vocal line and I'd write the lyrics. Ronnie is 100 percent involved in both the musical side and the vocal side, and he writes his own lyrics as well."

Butler added that Osbourne didn't take him seriously as a songwriter, saying, "If we were with Ozzy and I came in with the killer riff of all time, Ozzy wouldn't even think of doing it because I'm not the guitarist and that's the way he thinks . . . That's why it was so bloody hard to write anything."

Butler said about HEAVEN & HELL's debut CD, "The Devil You Know", "If we'd written this album with Ozzy, we'd still be working on the first track."

Iommi added that there was a sharp difference between the singers live as well, saying, "It was great being with Ozzy on the road . . . but with Ronnie it's a lot different, because we go out and we know exactly what we're gonna be doing. With Ozzy, we didn't really know. It was touch and go sometimes on some of those early shows, whether he was gonna turn up, if he'd be able to sing, if his voice was gone, or what. We'd have to cancel shows, which Geezer and myself really hated. But with Ronnie, we've never canceled a show."

Angels on fire, they fall from the sky.
Heaven and hell will be burning tonight.
Covered in ashes I cry out your name
But out of the flame, we shall rise again.


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