Trick Pony Face Legal Fight for Their Name
Trick Pony shot to fame in 2000 with their hit song "Pour Me," and the then-trio of Heidi Newfield, Keith Burns and Ira Dean went on to enjoy several years of success as a band before they split up in 2006 to pursue solo interests. After re-configuring in 2014, the band set to work to release a new album, Pony Up, in 2016 but have been faced with an unexpected fight to retain their band name.
The duo is now embroiled in a legal kerfuffle with former band manager Herbert Graham. Graham allowed the band name trademark to lapse during Trick Pony's hiatus and then registered himself as the owner of the name with his newly formed business group PGP, LLC, in an attempt, he claims, to recoup losses made over the years he spent managing the band.
PGP, LLC attempted to sue Newfield and Burns in 2016 for trademark infringement when the band reformed, but dropped the lawsuit after a federal judge removed the law firm representing Graham's company for conflict of interest. Legal firm Gunn, Lee and Cave had represented the band when they originally trademarked the name in the early 2000s and then aided Graham in reclaiming it after the lapse in 2014.
"We spent the better part of our lives doing what we love — writing, recording and playing music live," Heidi Newfield and Keith Burns say in a statement released by the band. "Without it and without our fans, there would be no Trick Pony. It was a shot in the gut not only to be told that we could no longer use the name of the band we worked so hard to establish, but that it is someone that was our manager and friend stopping us."
While the lawsuit against Newfield and Burns was dropped, they have since pursued action against Graham to investigate whether he acted in bad faith when he claimed the trademark for his own.
"Make no mistake," the band continues. "We will never stop doing what we love, and we will never stop fighting for a name that has defined the musical journey that we've shared with our fans through the years."