The Original Bunny Gang says we were here first, “cease and desist.”
  • The Original Bunny Gang says we were here first, “cease and desist.”
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“Received my very first cease-and-desist letter,” says Dustin Lothspeich of Bunny Gang. “Apparently some asshole in Flogging Molly wants our name for himself.”

The letter sent by a law firm on behalf of Flogging Molly bassist Nathen Maxwell reads, in part, “Your unauthorized use [of the name Bunny Gang] not only creates a likelihood of confusion but also directly infringes upon and diminishes the reputation, goodwill, commercial recognition and valuable intellectual property and publicity rights...our client has been publicly and continuously using the [trade]mark since February 2009 establishing uncontestable protections, as well as achieving secondary meaning distinction as a provider of unique entertainment services.”

White Rabbit, the debut album from Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang (the group’s initial name), was released in September 2009, though he did not file his application for the trademark and service mark for “Bunny Gang” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until August 28, 2012.

Lothspeich’s Bunny Gang — which includes Megan Liscomb (Owl Eyes) and Adam Eidson (Of Sons and Ghosts) — released their debut album on September 4. “We’re not just gonna give him our band name because he thinks he’s entitled to it,” Lothspeich tells the Reader. “Sorry, bud, we’ve been Bunny Gang since day one, and we’re not going anywhere.”

Lothspeich says he’d never heard of Maxwell’s group until the cease-and-desist letter, nor has he ever met or spoken to Maxwell. “This guy’s band has been ‘Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang’ for the last three years. We come along and start releasing proper music...a month ago, [and] he decides to drop his entire name and only go by ‘Bunny Gang’...and trademark those words. Coincidence? We think not. Notice he’s not trying to trademark ‘Nathen Maxwell and the Original Bunny Gang.’ He’s trying to take our name for himself — after the fact.”

The Reader’s attempts to contact Maxwell via email, Facebook, and phone were unsuccessful. “Our initial reaction was to just comply with their demands and change our name,” says Lothspeich. “But, after consulting with our own legal counsel, we quickly realized that we actually have the upper hand and a very solid course of action against him if it comes to a court case....

“What they’re doing is trying to steal another band’s identity by using legal intimidation...that’s probably the main reason he never bothered to reach out to us personally about it. He knows he’s in the wrong.”

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Comments

Jay Allen Sanford Oct. 10, 2012 @ 5:43 p.m.

Update from Dustin Lothspeich - for his band's October 18 appearance at El Dorado, they'll be going under the name Boy King. As he explained to the Reader, "Well, we responded to their lawyer and basically said we could fight it in court, or they could settle with us and pony up some cash for our expenses for changing the name. However, we haven't heard back from them and we've got a show coming up on October 18 [at El Dorado]. It's [Boy King] what we're using at the moment to avoid any messes. We haven't officially announced anything on our Bunny Gang Facebook, and we're still leaving all that stuff up so their lawyers and all those folks can see it's there, but we don't really know what's going to happen, if anything, at this point."

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CoachMcGuirk Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:41 p.m.

So they accidentally stole a second band's name? Nevermind that Nathen's band is both in the right and far more well known. This article reeks of yellow journalism and favoritism.

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CoachMcGuirk Oct. 30, 2012 @ 2:50 p.m.

Also, how funny is it when some group of nobodies makes demands after trying to ride someone famous's coattails?

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Legend0619 Oct. 30, 2012 @ 9:03 a.m.

Really buddy? REALLY? You thnk Nathen Maxwell needs to ride on YOUR coattails? Are you insane? Have you heard his music and yours? I have. If the man did anything to try to associate himself with your band, I'd have to suggest he get his head checked. It could not be clearer how in the wrong you are. You think he owes you money because YOU stole his name??? Good luck in court, "Boy King" (I can't even type that without laughing....)You're gonna need it.

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bunburry Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:40 p.m.

Yeah I love they way he said that they've been 'Bunny Gang' since the beginning, i.e. 3 years after the actual 'Bunny Gang' set up.

And the way the article states that they "did not file his application for the trademark and service mark for “Bunny Gang” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until August 28, 2012". You know, because every British band should register themselves in the U.S. just in case they get famous!

This band did not have a leg to stand on legally - that is why they changed their name. What a shower of jokers!!!

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ragrabbit Oct. 30, 2012 @ 10:18 a.m.

Its amazing how ignorant some people can be, dustin lothpuuuke has no merit in his cry over the bunny gang name, did he not do any research on intellectual property or is he living in a conceited bubble, get off Nathens back little boy king, you have nothing to offer fans of the bunny gang and riding on their respectful platform will do you no good.

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Vivamarysville Oct. 30, 2012 @ 11:10 a.m.

Just for some background...... The Bunny Gang or The Original Bunny Gang, has been a roots movement, amongst a core group of people since the early 90's maybe even the late 80's. Nathen Maxwell was deemed The White Rabbit long before Flogging Molly. All though Nathen has contributed to the Flogging Molly legacy full heartedly, he has also been working on and collecting the material for this project for years, prior to it's official release. It is arguable, that conceptually this has existed long long before some of you guys even picked up an instrument. It's a shame, we had to resort to name calling and your fans have to threaten his family. Nathen is a warm hearted guy and a man of reason. You may understand later, as you adventure on in your career. When you are constantly touring from one timezone to the next, that you may not always be able to handle you affairs personally. I guess it works out for you too, though. I see you have gotten a good amount of publicity over this. I wouldn't have even known you existed otherwise. Cheers to taking advantage I guess.

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j123 Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:17 p.m.

Ignorance is bliss? Please research a band name before deciding on it people! Nathen has been OBG or BG for MANY years prior to finally releasing a record under the name. If there was any one that was there, using the name "from day one" it was Nathen. To resort to name calling and threatening his family really shows the immaturity and unintelligence of Dustin and band mates. No one is riding on your coattails, Dustin. You are riding on Nathen's. If you had a chance to meet Nathen, you would know that he is not an "ahole". He is kind, friendly, and a loving family man. You my friend, Dustin, have proven yourself to be the "ahole" in this situation.

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bunburry Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:45 p.m.

Couldn't agree more...great point. I'm glad someone brought this young pretender to order. Just because he hasn't heard of something, doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

If I claim I never heard of the "Arctic Monkeys", could I call my band that??

NO!

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PDiddyLiddy Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:31 p.m.

It's very obvious that this Dustin character is trying to gain publicity off of this. Nathen Maxwell's and his group of friends growing up were called "The Original Bunny Gang" or "OBG", if you need proof of this you can just check his tattoos on his body. Maybe that's why he feels "entitled" to it. He is a professional touring musician and Lothspeich thinks he has time to call him to speak with him about this? Obviously he has no clue what it takes to be a professional. Lothspeich's Bunny Gang is causing a lot of confusion and that's probably what he wants. That way he can get a little press himself. As far as legal standing, it's probably all gone out the window with the threats to Nathen and his family.

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RoseA Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:06 p.m.

It feels like this new band simply was looking for a quick way to make money or get some publicity. It's a shame that people are this sneaky and can't just do what's honest. Well, it'll be left up to the courts. Hopefully, they get taught a lesson by the court system about scamming for money.

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brantastic Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:14 p.m.

Do you guys know what a bunny gang really is? Have you ever used batteries in your Walkmen?

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OasisGirl Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:18 p.m.

Are you kidding me. so They have had the name way longer than you have existed and you chose to use a name by either stealing it or for lack of research on your end to see it was already taken but they are assh*les? And on top of that you want them to have to pay for a mistake you could have avoided had you used a brain before picking a band name? i hope you end up having to pay them just for annoying them.

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widelyunknown Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:33 p.m.

My favorite part is how Dustin is quoted as saying "Sorry, bud, we’ve been Bunny Gang since day one..." That would be day one May 2012. Not Day one 2009. It's on the band to do due diligence to make sure the name they want is available. In this case Dustin could have looked at iTunes. A-hole musicians don't make it very far. Especially when they act like a-holes to established and well known musicians/bands. It sounds like Dustin has a favorable relationship with Sand Diego Reader which is why this article and the band page are written with a favorable bias towards Dustin and Boy King. Doesn't matter. Dustin's band changed their name. In the public eye, it's obvious who won. Also, don't threaten people's families. That never ends well.

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Voxoreason Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:53 p.m.

Alright. All finger pointing and childish name calling aside, Mr. Lothspeich is in for a very rude awakening if he chooses to go to court. Speaking from personal experience, Mr. Lothspeich and bandmates had better have some very deep pockets. Advice for this SD bunch? Choose another name and get on with your careers. Your lawyer is either a hack or a crook. You will lose, and you will pay more than you can imagine. Ask around. You're not the first bunch of snotty little bastards to pull this shit. I have no connection, in any way, with either band. I'd just like to see Mr. Lothspeich and friends benefit from the difficult lessons learned by a long line of mistaken and misled upstarts before them. This is a slam-dunk for Mr. Maxwell's legal team. A smart bunch of musicians, Mr. Lothspeich, would let this thing go. (snotty little bastards was used as a term of endearment, and as a suggestion for a new name)

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bunburry Oct. 30, 2012 @ 1:55 p.m.

I genuinely hope the San Diego Reader acknowledges their error in being favorable towards this band, who acted inappropriately towards a respectable and established band.

The fact that the boy king claimed "we quickly realized that we actually have the upper hand and a very solid course of action against him if it comes to a court case" should be taken as being disingenuous and just wrong.

You appear to have been lazy in choosing a band name and it appears that you are trying to get free publicity from gullible newspaper reporters.

Get your act together San Diego Reader...

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 30, 2012 @ 2:26 p.m.

Looks like Nathan, or his buddies, had a BIG night last night as he posted under 13 different sock puppets, most 15 minutes apart at 1 AM.........dont use gimmick accounts Nathan, looks dumb.

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Ward Oct. 30, 2012 @ 2:47 p.m.

Actually, Nathan posted the link to this article on facebook. And, since his band actually has a fan base due to being a well known band that has been making great music for years (unlike this new band calling them selves bunny gang and trying to get some free publicity), his fan base is responding.

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 30, 2012 @ 3:27 p.m.

OK, that would explain the numerous 1 post handles here, but it was odd that they all appeared nearly 15 minutes apart last night.........They are fans and not sock puppets, my apologies to Nathan for the comment (I can't edit or remove the comment now)...........my bad. https://www.facebook.com/floggingmolly

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Vivamarysville Oct. 30, 2012 @ 8:41 p.m.

I am sure there would have been more if this sites link to log in with Facebook actually worked....8 D

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CoachMcGuirk Oct. 30, 2012 @ 2:58 p.m.

Hahahahaha. Yeah, because the two INTERNATIONAL bands he's in don't have fans. What a tool. OGB has more fans, ten fold, then 'boy kings'.

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dvsarchitect Oct. 30, 2012 @ 2:43 p.m.

Wow. How naive are you? Sure it's getting you some press and bringing a little traffic to this shitty site but eventually you're going to have to face the music. You will lose and you will not recover. There is no amount of spin or notoriety you can suck out of this situation by being wrong. Put down the bong and start facing some real world shit because this will be a huge mistake for you.

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Dougald Tidswell Oct. 31, 2012 @ 2:13 a.m.

This is crazy - is Lothspeich even being sincere in his claim that he has right to the name when even the most cursory Googling of Bunny Gang pulls up You Tube videos from years before he started using the name.

If this is just publicity seeking, then it is ill considered at best, and at worst going to be an expensive and embarrassing mistake.

Go with Boy King (I hope you've googled that one first though)

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jayfeather Oct. 31, 2012 @ 4:01 a.m.

Mister Lothspeich,

What a joke, you or your buddies thinking that Nathen is posting under different "sock puppets". Maybe it hasn't come up to you that Nathen and the REAL bunny gang have a fan base,who support them ? And if you only ever achieve 0,001 procent with your band than Nathen has achieved, you maybe might ever know what it is,having a fan base...Sadly enough for you,I'm afraid you'll never achieve that 0,001 procent if you keep getting yourself in publicity by stealing band names, and ,how childisch,name calling and even worse, threatening a man's family. Shame on you,Mister Lotspeich. I do hope you'll ever find the self-respect to create an own,unique band, by creating it yourself, and not on the back of profesional people with a profesional carreer... But the way you're acting now, gives me the feeling that you don't have that much sense,maturity or self-respect...

I can only hope you'll grow up,mister Lotspeich,and get more sense,one day...

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SurfPuppy619 Oct. 31, 2012 @ 11:58 p.m.

Baby Einstein, did you read my follow up comment????

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Boyinthabubble Oct. 31, 2012 @ 10:48 a.m.

Whatever picture is being painted of Nathen by this band from SD is untrue. One of the nicest, humble, and selfless guys you will ever meet. I met him in '94 when some kids from high school wanted to kick his ass cuz he was different and I stood by him. Around '93/'94 a guy named Damien was making fun of some wannabe gangsters and threw up sign that looked liked a bunny. He said he was gonna start a gang called the bunny gang. Damien was joking around but later in 94/95 it became a crew of guys (OBG). They all either hung out, partied, played in bands or lived at this house in Lawndale, CA. They all listened to punk, ska, etc and went to shows in the L.A. area. Damien, Zack, Warren, Aaron, Gabe, Danny, Mike (also in Nathen's band), NATHEN and a long list of others. So Nathen was part of OBG long before either band started. Now, I don't own a record from Flogging Molly or Nathens solo project, but I can definitely tell you that Nathen is an honest stand up guy and OBG was part of Nathen long before this SD band came along.

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Boyinthabubble Oct. 31, 2012 @ 10:58 a.m.

By the way, I'm not some sock puppet. No one put me up to this. I just know the roots of the name and the truth

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BadDogBites Oct. 31, 2012 @ 4:27 p.m.

Next fail... There is an artist from SF called "Boy King"...maybe the next cease & desist letter^^ These guys got now own fantasy. Poor...

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