That’s confusing, I know. But it’s true.
Van Halen and the band’s holding company, ELVH, Inc., have filed a lawsuit in California federal court against Kelly Van Halen, the ex-wife of drummer Alex Van Halen.
The suit claims she has infringed on the band’s trademark by using her last name as the title of her construction and interior design company.
The suit alleges Kelly’s use of the name is “confusingly similar” to that of the band, and that she is diluting the Van Halen brand and committing unfair competition.
Alex married Kelly, whose maiden name is Carter, in 1984. The couple were divorced 12 years later in 1996.
The legal question is whether Kelly can use her last name in a commercial enterprise, and whether her intent was to exploit the goodwill and reputation of the band by doing so, according to reports.
The suit claims Kelly has filed two trademark applications on “Kelly Van Halen” for products such as chairs, children’s blankets and bathing suits, as well as building construction and interior design services.