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Yoko Ono won't let it be, forces 'John Lemon' drink to re-brand

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  • John Lennon
    English singer and songwriter, founding member of The Beatles (1940–1980)
  • Yoko Ono
    Yoko Ono
    Japanese artist, singer-songwriter, author, peace activist (1933- )

LONDON (Reuters) - It wasn't exactly instant karma when Beatle John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, heard about a Polish beverage company's new drink called "John Lemon".

She threatened legal action alleging that it infringed on the trademark of her late husband.

The company has now agreed to change its drink's name to "On Lemon", after lawyers acting for Ono wrote to distributors warning they faced costs of up to 5,000 euros ($5,998) a day and 500 euros for every bottle sold if they infringed the trademark.

Lawyers acting for the beverage firm denied it had infringed the late star's rights, but Ono's lawyers pointed to a Facebook post from John Lemon Ireland, which featured an image of the iconic singer.

Other marketing materials included the brand's logo next to the words "let it be" and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon

John Lemon's lawyers also said that pointed out that their EU trademark had been registered in 2014, two years earlier than the John Lennon trademark was registered in 2016.

Karol Chamera, the founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks which distributed the John Lemon beverage in the UK told the East London Advertiser newspaper: "all of us involved with this product are startups and we couldn’t take on someone who is worth many, many millions."

(Writing by Mark Hanrahan in London Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)

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