Four Tops win legal battle over name


LONDON -- Motown icons The Four Tops won a legal battle Friday when a British judge ordered a rival group to stop using the band's name.

High Court judge Nicholas Warren ruled that singer Viscount Oliver Miller must stop performing and recording under the name Viscount Oliver's Legendary Four Tops.

The judge declared invalid the trademark "Viscount Oliver's American Dream The Legendary Four Tops," which Miller has used to promote dates by his Four Tops tribute act across Britain.

The judge also ordered Oliver to pay damages, at an amount to be determined.

The Four Tops' British lawyer, Adam Robertson, said Miller had never been a member of the Four Tops and had never recorded with the band.

"Today's ruling was important for The Four Tops because it permitted them to protect their legacy in the U.K.," he said.

The Four Tops, formed in Detroit more than 50 years ago, had a string of 1960s hits on Motown Records, including "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Same Old Song" and "Reach Out and I'll Be There." They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

A lineup including original member Abdul "Duke" Fakir still performs and is currently touring Britain with fellow Motown act The Temptations.