AN American boyband called One Direction is suing Simon Cowell because they claim the music mogul ‘stole’ their name for his smash-hit UK act.
The British bubblegum pop five-piece, which includes Doncaster popstar Louis Tomlinson, are being sued for trademark infringement in a multi-million dollar lawsuit that would stop them using their band name in promotional materials.
Lawyers for the Stateside soft rock group One Direction are also seeking a share of the profits earned by the chart-topping British boys.
The UK band have found success in America after being discovered on Cowell’s talent show The X-Factor back in 2010.
Louis, aged 20, from Stoops Lane in Bessacarr, entered the competition as a solo singer but having failed to impress at the bootcamp stage, he was then put into a Cowell-inspired boyband alongside fellow talen show contestants Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan.
The teenage heart-throbs came third in the TV show and have since far outstripped the actual winner Matt Cardle.
Their debut album Up All Night made history when it went in at number one in the US album chart, and a headlining date scheduled at Madison Square Garden this December sold out in less than an hour.
Cowell’s company Syco is named along with Sony Music Entertainment in a federal lawsuit filed in California Central District Court.
The US band say they are entitled to three times the profits made by their rivals, as well as compensatory damages in excess of one million dollars.
They have used the name One Direction since late 2009 and filed an application to register it as a trademark in the US in February 2011, the lawsuit states.
It is also claimed in the legal documents that Syco and Sony Music ‘chose to ignore’ the American group’s rights and ‘wilfully infringed them’ after realising early last year about the shared name.
The Californian One Direction started making music at school and have played at local bars and fairs.
The lawsuit said the continued use by both bands of the same name was causing ‘substantial confusion and damage’.
Syco and Sony Music have declined to comment.