The dispute over the name of one of the most famous national rock bands involves Giuliano Manfredini, son and heir of vocalist Renato Russo, and the remaining legionaries Dado Villa-Lobos, guitarist, and Marcelo Bonfá, drummer.
In this first debate, after the defense lawyers’ theses, the rapporteur of the matter, Minister Isabel Gallotti, presented a favorable vote to Manfredini, recognizing that it is his exclusive responsibility to say when, where and how the brand may be used.
Ministers of the Fourth Panel, the collegiate body in charge of the matter, raised doubts about the scope of what will be decided. Minister Antonio Carlos Ferreira then asked for more time to study the process. There is no date for the resumption of the trial.
Moved by Legião Urbana Produções Artísticas, a company inherited by Manfredini, the action in the STJ seeks to reverse a previous decision that benefited Dado and Bonfá.
In 2014, the Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice prevented Manfredini’s company from banning the two musicians from using the brand, under penalty of a fine of R $ 50,000 for each attempt. The decision allowed them to do the commemorative tours of the 30 years of the band’s first two albums.
The Legião Urbana brand was registered with Inpi, the National Institute of Industrial Property, in 1987, when the rock band was at the height of its success.
On the occasion, an accountant from the EMI label instructed the musicians to create their own company. Bonfá created Urbana Produções Artísticas, bassist Renato Rocha, Legião Produções Artísticas, Dado, Zotz Produções Artísticas, and Renato Russo, Legião Urbana Produções Artísticas.
The group’s name, however, could only be registered in the name of a company, and the vocalist prevailed. After the singer’s death in 1996, the family inherited him.
In defense of Manfredini, the lawyer André Silveira stated that, by relativizing the exclusive use of the trademark, the Rio de Janeiro justice system incurred in illegality by removing the effectiveness of the administrative registration carried out by the Inpi and thus creating legal uncertainty.
“The decision [da Justiça do Rio de Janeiro] it made a mess, ”said Silveira, also arguing that the discussion would be from the Federal Court for involving Inpi, an agency linked to the federal public administration.
Lawyer of Dado and Bonfá, José Eduardo Cardozo stated that his clients, along with Renato Russo, lived in “total” harmony in the formation and consolidation of Legião Urbana, without friction over brand or financial gains.
“Friendship and loyalty between friends are not transferred by inheritance,” said Cardozo, referring to the legal battle between the band’s two remaining members and the leader’s heir.
Cardozo also evoked the concept of social heritage to defend that the guitarist and the drummer can present themselves as Legião Urbana.
In her vote, Minister Isabel Gallotti affirmed that the issue under analysis by the STJ is very objective, the protection of the trademark, which is “a right based on the formality of registration with the INPI”.
“He [o proprietário da marca] it has the right to decide when, where and when it can be used, ”said the minister.
“There is no right for them to play as if the extinct Legião Urbana were, choosing a cover to eventually play the role that would be Renato Russo. This will not bring back the social heritage that was the extinct Legião Urbana. ”
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