The band members say they are being sued after they challenged the trademark approval of the name they’ve used since the 60s
They first came to the public attention through a 1968 ITV comedy show Do Not Adjust Your Set.
Now over 50 years later, the group are still going – or more accurately, they would be if it wasn’t for a legal battle over their name.
The band, whose members are now in their seventies and eighties, say they discovered two years ago that “an entity” had registered their name as a figurative trademark without their consent or knowledge.
They are now challenging the decision to grant it, because it means they will never be able to record an album or perform a concert under their name again.
The surviving members – who are Rodney Slater, Roger Ruskin Spear, Neil Innes, “Legs” Larry Smith and Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell – say they are facing a lawsuit by the trademark owner who asserts the band does not own the name and that their attempt to win it back through the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) tribunal service is a fraudulent act.
Rodney, 78, who played saxophones and other musical instruments and lives in Bedfordshire, told i: “It’s quite dreadful to go through this. It’s upsetting for everyone.
“It’s about the defining moments in your life, about your life’s work, that’s the distressing part.”
The group’s most successful single was a number five hit in 1968 called I’m the Urban Spaceman which was produced by McCartney.