Ozzy Osbourne sues over rights to Black Sabbath name

LOS ANGELES Sat May 30, 2009 9:39pm EDT

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne pose in front of some of their belongings to be auctioned in Beverly Hills, California, November 26, 2007. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne pose in front of some of their belongings to be auctioned in Beverly Hills, California, November 26, 2007.

Credit: Reuters/Mario Anzuoni

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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy Osbourne has sued his former band mate Tony Iommi over the ownership of the group's name.

Osbourne, 60, filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York, on Tuesday accusing the guitarist of falsely claiming to be the sole owner of the Black Sabbath name, his representatives said on Friday.

He is also seeking a share of the interest in the Black Sabbath trademark and a cut of the profits that Iommi earned while touring under the Black Sabbath name in the 1990s when the British heavy metal band was in disarray after numerous changes to their lineup.

Osbourne said in a statement issued on Friday that he was sorry he had gone to the court over the dispute with Iommi which he said he had tried for three years to resolve amicably.

Imommi performed in clubs under the Black Sabbath name after Osbourne was thrown out of the band. The original four members -- Osbourne, Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward -- reunited in 1997 and Black Sabbath was inducted in the UK and US Rock&Roll Hall of Fames in 2005 and 2006.

Osbourne said in a statement that it was thanks to the efforts of his management representatives over the past 12 years that "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."

"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," Osbourne said.

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)

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