Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sugababes fight Mutya Buena over name rights

Sugababes fight Mutya Buena over name rights

Page last updated at 14:39 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 15:39 UK

Sugababes current line-up The Sugababes' fourth line-up have been together since September 2009

Members of Sugababes have begun a legal battle over ownership of the pop group's name after former member Mutya Buena applied to own the trademark.

Buena, a founding member of the group, applied to the European Union trademarks authority in November 2009.

Now the current line-up - Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen - have filed a notice of opposition, as have their record company, Island Records.

Range has previously told the BBC that their record company owns the name.

An Island Records spokesman said: "Contractually we are entitled to the use of the name Sugababes in connection with records and films. We are just protecting that right."

But when the last original member, Kiesha Buchanan, left last year, Buena commented: "It just means the Sugababes have ended."

In a letter to the EU body, Universal's Island Records said that because of the "similarity of the goods and services" provided by the applicant - Buena - "there is a likelihood of confusion on the part of the public".

Buena is currently working on her second solo album, following the release of her debut Real Girl in 2007.

If her application is successful, it could mean that she will own the rights to use the Sugababes name on goods such as CDs, DVDs and books.

The Sugababes line-up has changed several times since the original group was formed in 1998 by founding members Siobhan Donaghy, Mutya Buena and Keisha Buchanan.

Donaghy left in 2001, with Range replacing her. Buena left the band and was subsequently replaced by Berrabah.

And last year, it was confirmed that the last original Sugababe, Buchanan, was leaving the group - she was then replaced by former Eurovision contestant Ewen.

The Sugababes have enjoyed several UK number one singles, including Freak Like Me and Push the Button.

Their latest album, Sweet 7, debuted and peaked at number 14 on the UK chart, making it the group's lowest charting album since 2000's One Touch.

The Sugababes are currently recording the group's eighth studio album.

Title: Culture Club web chat: Is Eurovision alive or dead?

Get your cheese-tinted spectacles, foreign-themed food and accusations of tactical voting ready – it’s Eurovision time again, and we want to hear your thoughts. Is Eurovision the most obscenely fun night of the year, or a bonkers, outdated waste of time and money?

A worldwide audience of 125 million tune in as 39 countries attempt to outsing, outdance and outgimmick each other for the Eurovision prize. But it’s a spectacle which will drive just as many people to get their extra-strong earplugs reinforced. Indeed, the Making Your Mind Up glory days are well behind us, and even Terry Wogan - whose Baileys-fuelled commentary helped the contest slip down so nicely – has deserted his Eurovision duties, saying it just wasn’t funny any more.

Last year, Lord Lloyd Webber boosted us to a respectable fifth and propelled Jade Ewen to Sugababe status - but then there’s this year’s wimper. Pete Waterman’s schmaltz-in probably wouldn’t get past the semi-finals if we didn’t buy, with our fat financial contribution, an automatic pass-card to May 29’s final.

So, do we really need another farcical evening of getting whipped by Eastern Europeans writhing around in giant hamster cages? Or is it money well spent for a night of eccentric escapism - and some easy foreign policy?

We want to know what you think. Join The Times Rock & Pop Critic, Pete Paphides, and our resident Eurovision expert, Alex Hardy, for a live web chat on Friday May 28 at midday.

Live chat

Should we scrap Eurovision? Tell us

Friday May 28, midday

Sarah Harding's bar Kanaloa nominated

Harding's bar given awards nod

Sarah Harding's bar Kanaloa is in the running for a top award, despite being open for only six months.

The Girls Aloud singer, who opened the Polynesian-themed London hotspot last November with DJ boyfriend Tom Crane and co-owners Nick House and Piers Adam, is up for Best Bar against Leslie Ash and husband Lee Chapman's bar Juju, Mahiki, McQueen and Aquum in the London Club And Bar Awards.

Sarah Harding's bar has been nominated for an award

"Sarah Harding and Kanaloa combined are a force to be reckoned with, regardless of the fact they are so new to the scene - however, they are up against some of the best in the business with institutions and landmarks such as Mahiki, Harvey Nichols and Juju in the Best Bar category," said spokesperson Charlie Mason-Parson.

Kanaloa has become one of the most popular bars in the capital, with celebrities such as Zac Efron, Sugababes and JLS hanging out there.

The winners of the awards will be announced on June 7 in London.