A Motion to Dismiss was filed on my behalf back in October 2017 by my trademark attorney Michael L. Lovitz, IP Law. The Trademark Cancellation case has remained suspended since that time pending the courts decision. This Shalamar trademark challenge brought against me four years agowas finally heard and ruled on by the Trademarks and Appeals Board (TTAB)and entered into public record on February 15, 2018.
The trademark registration challenge case brought against me by Petitioner and Plaintiff Carolyn Baldwin (stage name Griffey) was Dismissed With Prejudice(no chance of appeal) by the Trademarks and Appeals Board as no evidence of record was ever presented nor entered into the challenge that proved her sole ownership or past registration claims. I could not be more pleased with the outcome.
With a litany of false and slanderous statements made against me to the public over these four years by Baldwin, her mother former singer Carrie Lucas common law wife of Solar Record’s Dick Griffey, Baldwin’s colleagues and representatives (including Michael Gardner, Vijay Bhuchar, Zak Patel, Jemma Hatt admin of “Shalamar “Friends” social media pages created after my registration of the mark, Hipolito Rodriguez and Randy Lopez of RDMJ Entertainment), cyber-bullying, implicit in undermining my trademark rights, with threats, tampering with booking agents (Sal Michaels and Pyramid Entertainment, Pollstar), promoters, and media outlets such as Soultracks’ Chris Rizik, Eurweb’s Lee Bailey (“The Trademark Belongs To Me!!” interview with Baldwin), UrbanMusicScene, as well as The Tom Joyner Morning Show (Howard Hewett interview 2016) where baseless claims and accusations of fraud against me were made without my opportunity to refute the false claims in their efforts to ruin my reputation as well as undermine, thwart and encourage non-support of my new group endeavors now named ( Jody Watley ft. SRL). This is just a sampling of some of what I’ve endured in this difficult chapter that I intend to put even further behind me, as I’ve already tried to do the past couple of years before this ultimate outcome in my favor by the TTAB.
I remain the legally registered owner of the Shalamar trademark in the United States of America as registered with the USPTO (United States Patent and Trademark Office). As a result of this process I’ve also been able to put an end to false and misleading ads by Baldwin and her colleagues (Howard Hewett and Jeffrey Daniel) under the guise of “Carolyn owns the name, so she can do whatever she wants to do including use old photos of Shalamar to advertise with your (Jody Watley) likeness …” The charade is over.
The Terminated challenge is public record via the TTAB website for any avoidance of doubt.
I hope my efforts will inspire other artists to be more diligent about business matters and for those who have been in groups to be more proactive in how their likeness is used in the public, avoiding misrepresentation to talent buyers and fans over time allowing others to benefit and profit from your original works, image and likeness potentially damaging your own livelihood in the process.
The interview begins with a revelation by the writer, Gerald Radford, which threw me upon reading. His personal bias was something I always suspected with some in the “urban” media which goes back to earlier in my solo career and having mega crossover success – not everyone embraced that. The negative cloud he speaks of is odd because overall I receive so much love in the press and of course from fans in a career spanning decades and with all of the acheivments and benchmarks thus far. A negative cloud hanging over me? I don’t see it. From my point of view only those who resent me for being who I am…and my early solo crossover success, not towing the line, not staying ‘in my place’.. as women as supposed to do in the minds of some is where that exists. I appreciate very much that Gerald remained open and this article was able to be so honest on both of our parts -we had a wonderful conversation. As always, I’m just being myself – living, laughing, loving, learning and hoping it’s contagious to others. There are many things I refrain from saying because I don’t like drama, however sometimes one must let people know what’s really going on.
I consider myself quite blessed to have not only achieved my childhood dreams, but exceeded them. Constantly creating new goals – growing, learning, evolving. Some people don’t like that – the independents, those who don’t fall in line with the status quo..especially women..read the interview: Here
UPCOMING APPEARANCES / CONCERTS:
May16 – Autograph Signing 1st ever Rupaul’s DragCon Los Angeles Convention Center
May 24 – Happy Days Festival, Imber Court, Surrey UK
May 30 – The Shrine Chicago
June 6 – Mountain Winery Saratoga, CA with K.C. and the Sunshine Band
June 13 – Espaca Das Americas, Sao Paulo Brazil
June 24 – The Howard Theater, Washington D.C.
June 25 – NYC TBA
June 27 – Queen Elizabeth Park, Let’s Rock London
July 25 – Atlanta Health and Music Festival – Recipient of Women of Excellence ICONIC Music Award
Lee Bailey has always been a consistent supporter of my music and career, dating back to when I was a member of Shalamar, and he had a popular segment that played on stations across the country “Lee Bailey’s Radioscope.” He was one of the first to interview me when my solo debut ‘Jody Watley’ was released in 1987. I’m very thankful for his continued support of my music, perseverance and artistry. #itsinthemusic
Jody Watley takes you to Paradise on her glamorous and funky new album, read the rest on Eurweb: Here
Jody Watley. Nightlife. Photo Courtesy of Jody Watley Music (c) 2013
NIGHTLIFE: written by Jody Watley (Jody Watley Music, BMI) Julien Aletti, Raphael Aletti (Aletti Brothers Music, BMI) Produced by Count De Money for Peace Bisquit and Jody Watley – Remixes by Moto Blanco; Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona, Luminodisco, released on Avitone.
Despite the accessibility of information and frequent posts on all of my social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest), some seem to lag or simply too lazy to read and actually get updated to see what’s NEW with Jody Watley. “Any new music coming?” What have you been up to?” It’s all here and out there. In the event you’re sincere with interest and have missed or overlooked the numerous updates and interviews, I’ve compiled a easy to follow list of links to read, watch and get plugged in. “Nightlife” featuring Gerald Brown another fellow original Shalamar lead built momentum beginning in the summer of 2013 and continues going into 2014 (NIGHTLIFE moves to #18 Hot Billboard Dance Club Play will it will peak in the Top 20), and I prepare for the next single – It’s In The Music!
The “Nightlife” video is still to be released with the single still on the rise on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play Charts – the edit took longer than we all thought, but’s it nearly done. There really are no rules in the music industry these days especially for independent artists – it still takes a while to get the word out, without some sort of scandal! With the video, as with anything I do – it has to be right or not at all for me. Limited edition vinyl is available in the boutique. Do you have yours?
Upcoming Concerts: Billboard Live Osaka and Tokyo, Japan: Jan 18-22, 2014. David Gest presents Legends of Soul UK, get info: HERE. I look forward to doing select cities in 2014 in support of “Nightlife” and the forthcoming “Paradise. Expect a couple MAJOR surprises this year and a bombshell or two!
“Nightlife” with it’s call to “be fabulous” forget your worries – get yourself together, is really my way of encouraging a call to lift yourself up, to have fun. “It’s in the music” because it is about music where so much inspiration and energy lives as a great resource, let it use you – I do! When you’re releasing music independently, so much depends on not simply my efforts but others getting behind and supporting. There’s something to be said about that aspect in today’s commercial commerce driven marketplace – what a concept, focus on ‘the music’ and the hope to inspire others. We can change the world with one smile, one dance at a time – I know it sounds cliche but for me it’s truth.
The single moves up to #14 Pop in the UK in Music Week and #40 Hot Dance Club Play on Billboard. The single peaked at #5 Urban in the UK – which is still quite awesome. It’s not so much about charts and sales but I’m proud of this as an addition to my discography – it’s really always about moving forward and being proud the work; that’s really success. Thats said, I do love proving that a veteran woman artist, writer, producer and style diva can still hang without pandering and with a level of class and my signature authenticity. There’s a core group people working with me, supporting me because they believe ‘in the music’ and not because of financial gain. We are connected by a passion and love for the music, the arts and a time when it was really more focus on ‘music’. The work I continue to do and with the integrity I try to bring appears to inspire others which gives me confidence and hope for all of us out here still trying to do things the right way. It’s all very organic and I’m thankful to those working with me on this and of course you the ones helping to get the word out there through your actions, buying the single and sharing my posts. Thank you.
Fabulous! My daughter and son – who always encourage me as must as I encourage them and tell me I’m the best Mom in the world – which fuels me on my darkest days and always reminds me what’s most important. Thank you Count De Money (Julien and Raphael Aletti- Aletti Brothers Music) Bill Coleman of Peace Bisquit, Gerald Brown, Juanita Stephens PR, Steve Ripley at Soulfood Music, Music House UK, Craig Jones, Niven Govinden, Matt Waterhouse, Moto Blanco, Jodie Harsh, Dave Doyle, Soulpersona, Luminodisco, Claudia Cuesta of Maxi Promotion, Patrick L. Riley of ‘Life of Riley’ and Dave Higdon of Poptastic Confessions, (early blogging supporters of ‘Nightlife’) along with Okayplayer, Soulbounce, Soulculture UK, Centric TV who got behind the single early — Fabulous!! Thank you Rosero McCoy, John ‘Havic’ Gregory, Christos Garkinos of Decades Inc, Billy B., Albert Sanchez, Sandra Green, Billy Johnson at Yahoo Music, Access Hollywood, Uptown Magazine, Isoul Harris, Essence Magazine, Jet, Ebony, Soulbounce, Singersroom, Lee Bailey at Eurweb, Urbanbridgez, Wax Poetics, Wallace Butts, Van Roy, Shawn West, Brian Walmer, Vernon Sze, Steve and Laura Hall at Future Disc Systems, Bryan Rabin and Adam Bravin aka Adam Xll of Giorgio’s, Steven Willis, Harwood Lee, Christina Grady and all DJ’s and outlets supporting this effort…and anyone I forgot to mention my apologies, it’s not intentional. My hardcore fans – I love you!
Vinyl arrived today – yaaay! Details on when they’ll be at my online boutique. I have to number and sign them – limited edition Ba-By! Excited to be filming the final footage for the “Nightlife video tomorrow at my favorite place to dance : Giorgio’s!