Broncos legendary quarterback and current Vice President, John Elway, has asked an obscure Colorado punk rock band named 'Elway' to stop using his surname in a letter from his attorney before the Memorial Day Weekend.
In a report by USA Today, lead singer of the band Tim Browne said that the letter strongly urged the band to change its name but that it was not a cease and desist order.
"None of us really care about football that much," Browne goes on to say in the USA Today piece. "It's not a direct reference to John Elway. We make no mention of him in records or our artwork. He's local color, part of the vernacular that people understand." The Fort Collins, Colorado band thought the name was a fun way to pay respects to their roots.
In a statement made on PunkNews.org, Elway (the band) said this about the letter they received from John Elway's attorney:
The letter basically said that John had become aware of our little punk rock band and, though we make no reference to him in our songs or artwork, he saw fit to dispatch his legal team to demand that we change our band name. Of course, any Coloradoan worth their salt might point out the absurdity of Mr. Elway's insistence on legally strong arming a virtually unknown punk band rather than focusing his attention on mending the badly broken Denver Broncos, but that's a whole different issue.
For now, the band has no plans to change their name.
John Gentile, Intellectual Property Attorney said this about Elway's request in PunkNews.org:
It seems that the band Elway might have a good argument that there is no confusion, mostly because there is likely little evidence of actual confusion, the goods produced by John Elway and the band Elway are entirely different, and the marketing channels of the two parties probably do not overlap. Still, John Elway might have pretty damning evidence with regards to the band Elway's intention for picking the name and may be able to argue that the name "Elway" is a very strong mark.