A recent cease-and-desist letter about the use of the name Maytals caused members of the band to begin preparing for a legal battle against the estate of Toots Hibbert, the late legendary singer. The Jamaica Observer first published the story and reported that the California-based law firm Isaacman, Kaufman, Painter, Lowy and Zucker are currently representing the heirs of the late artiste Fredrick Hibbert, who found and was a part of the band known as Toots and the Maytals.
Toots’ Estate is insisting that the band(Without Toots) will not be allowed to perform using the name Maytals for upcoming tours or gigs.
Jackie Jackson who is a veteran bass guitarist with the band said he heard of the letter but he had not seen it. His lawyer told him that he had it and that is all he and the other band members, Carl Harvey, Earl Paul Douglas, Charles Farquharson and Radcliffe Bryan knew.
They toured with Toots for more than 5 decades, the 77-year-old Hibbert was the lead singer for Toots and the Maytals, before he died at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston, from COVID-19 complications on the 11th of September 2020.
The group won the Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album in March after they produced hits like “Sweet and Dandy”, ”Pressure Drop” and “Bam Bam”.
In part the letter is saying that the band members or persons purporting to be authorized by them are infringing or contemplating the infringement of their clients’ service mark, ‘Toots and the Maytals’ by inter alia, offering to entertain using the mark. “Toots and the Maytals” mark is seen as an infringement on the rights of their client and this could cause serious damage to their client’s mark.
According to the letter, if they fail to desist using the name band members will be exposed to damages and liability. The band members were also told to withdraw their application in the US Patent and Trademark Office which was filed for trademark registration in January 2021, right away.
The lawyers stated that their clients had told them to vigorously oppose all efforts made by the band to register their trademark.
The Maytals band is completing an album, “Continuum” that was set to be released closer to the end of this year, and a tour was being planned.