Ukulele orchestra wins UK court ruling against upstart rival

AP News
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Posted: Jul 02, 2015 12:18 PM

LONDON (AP) — A judge has delivered sweet music to the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, ruling that a rival ensemble can't call itself the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra.

Judge Richard Hacon said Thursday that similar names had confused fans of the Hawaiian stringed instrument and "caused damage to the Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain's goodwill."

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, founded in 1985, took legal action against its rival, founded in 2009 and made up of British musicians based in Germany.

Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain founder George Hinchliffe said the ruling made it clear "that copycat musical performances cannot trade off the reputation of established groups."

The orchestra says it has played more than 1,000 concerts and performed alongside Robbie Williams, Cat Stevens, Madness and the Kaiser Chiefs.