Rudolph Isley is suing his brother Ronald of the legendary duo Isley Brothers in what he says is his brother’s dishonest dealings with the group’s trademark that he secretly registered in his name and continues to earn profits from.
On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Ronald Isley, who is 82 years old, owns the trademarks of the legendary music group which he claims to have founded and is the lead singer of. His older brother Rudolph, 83, in his lawsuit filed on Tuesday, claims that his younger brother conducted business transactions without his knowledge and pocketed all of the money.
Rudolph claims that his brother trademarked the name Isley Brothers last year and has earned significant income from the trademark, which he has not disclosed to his big brother. The two brothers are the only remaining members of the original group founded in 1954 with now-deceased brother, O’Kelly Isley (who died in 1986).
In his lawsuit, Rudolph wants the court to grant a judicial declaration the trademark ‘The Isley Brothers’ mark is jointly owned by them both, and he wants an account of profits as to the monies earned from the use of the mark by his brother since he is “unaware of the degree to which Ronald exploited the Mark,” and wants him to account and pay 50 percent share of proceeds derived from the Mark.”
Rudolph further bases his claim on equity in that he and Ronald were a “common law partnership” and had rights and obligations jointly split, such as expenses, profits, and earnings from the band.
“The band remained in equal partnership under the sole ownership, direction and control of its founding members [equals in] of all rights and interests of the Group,” the lawsuit read, adding that Ronald needed his brother’s consent to sign off on deals concerning the Group name.
The mark is said to be registered with USPTO and covers visual recordings and audiovisual recordings featuring music and animation.
The Isley Brothers recently appeared on Drink Champs with N.O.R.E., where they appeared cordial and spoke about music. However, the lawsuit says that Ronald went solo in 2021 when he filed the mark for exclusive rights to the Isley Brothers mark.
The group is known for hits like the 1959 song “Shout,” which was featured in a Super Bowl commercial back in February, “Twist and Shout,” and other songs.