Rudolph Isley isn’t here for Ronald Isley being the sole beneficiary of their musical legacy. The older brother accuses his younger brother, both originals in their influential band, of trademarking their name ‘The Isley Brothers’ and keeping the profits for himself.
According to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Rudolph is suing over the rights to the trademark. Rudolph claims they’ve each had 50% ownership of the band since the death of their brother O’Kelly in 1986.
The Isley Brothers started as a gospel quartet in the 1950s with brothers O’Kelly, Rudolph, Ronald, and Vernon. After Vernon was killed while riding a bike, the band became a trio and moved to New York in 1957. Their first collaborative song was the iconic Shout!. In 1973, the band added three more people, younger brothers Ernie and Marvin Isley and brother-in-law Chris Jasper.
Ronald Isley Filed To Trademark The Band Name In November 2021
A search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office website confirms the live trademark and Ronald as its owner. Ronald received exclusive rights to ‘The Isley Brothers’ for “visual recordings and audiovisual recordings featuring music and animation.”
The filing date is November 2, 2021. The USPTO published the trademark for opposition on May 31, 2022, with the registration date landing on August 16, 2022.
According to Rudolph’s court docs, the brothers have previously split profits for transactions involving the band, including an alleged multi-million dollar publishing deal. However, this time, Ronald went rogue, per Rudolph.
Rudolph is seeking two rulings from the judge. First, he wants the judge to order an accounting of Ronald’s finances to determine the earnings received since the official change in August. He’s seeking to take back 50% of those earnings, if any.
Secondly, Rudolph wants the judge to expand ownership of ‘The Isley Brothers’ trademark to include him.
Ronald has not publicly commented on the lawsuit, but he and his brother Ernie are currently on a national tour that seemingly ends in August.