ABBA reached a settlement on Thursday (January 20) to end a lawsuit it brought against a British tribute band called Abba Mania which the iconic Swedish pop group had called a “parasite”.
The deal came just six weeks after ABBA filed a lawsuit claiming that Abba Mania’s use of the word “ABBA” in its name violated the band’s trademarks and would fool some fans into believing that the tribute band was officially licensed by the original.
The public notice of the settlement, filed in federal court by ABBA attorneys at the law firm Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu PC, did not include any specific terms, such as whether the money would change hands. But an ABBA lawyer confirmed Billboard that Abba Mania had agreed to cease using the name. A representative for the defendants did not return a request for comment.
ABBA burst onto the scene in 1974 by winning the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo”, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100. The group released several other top 10 hits, including ” Dancing Queen”. in 1976. Abba Mania, meanwhile, has been touring since 2000 and is in the midst of a long tour of American cities.
Tribute bands—acts that exclusively cover the music of a particular band—often adopt names that reference or allude to the original. They can usually avoid legal issues by clearly stating that they are not affiliated with the original. These groups will often add “A [Band] Tribute” after their name. According to ABBA’s lawsuit, ABBA Mania refused to do so, even when the band specifically asked them to.
“In an attempt to resolve this dispute amicably, [ABBA] explained how the defendants could correctly use the phrase ‘ABBA Tribute’ in a non-confusing way to describe their act of tribute as long as the actual name of the act of tribute did not include the word ABBA”, have writes the group’s lawyers in the lawsuit. “But the defendants refused to comply and cease using the name ABBA MANIA.”
The lawsuit named two corporate bodies, TAL Entertainment Ltd. and Handshake Ltd., as well as individuals James Stuart Littlewood and Todd Littlewood.