'The Nation's Ukulele Orchestra'
BBC News, Radio 4, 23rd September 2014
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The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra, TUKUO

This group is not The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, which has been delighting audiences for 30 years. The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) was founded in 1984. A German producer has, however, recently hired other British musicians and booked venues to put on shows with a “look alike” and “sound alike” act they call The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO).

In July 2015, after becoming aware of a significant number of instances of consumer confusion, we, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain brought legal proceedings against UKUO to prevent further damage being sustained to its reputation as performers. The English Court acknowledged that confusion had arisen and found in UOGB’s favour, granting an injunction that prevents UKUO from performing under that name in England and Wales.

The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (UOGB) was founded in 1984 by George Hinchliffe, who coined the name and concept behind the ensemble.  The UOGB soon became famous for its unique and distinctive characteristics, which remain the cornerstone of the orchestra to this day, namely: a consort of the same instrument with an act based on widely different music genres, dressed like a classical orchestra, light-hearted rapport with the audience, where each instrument plays a different part.
For 30 years The UOGB has blazed a trail around the world, performing at sold out shows in iconic concert venues such as the Royal Albert Hall and gathering millions of fans along the way.  The UOGB has delighted audiences with its eclectic mix of music: from rock to pop with classical in-between, UOGB combines musical entertainment and humour with virtuosic ukulele solos, singing and whistling.

The Orchestra is proud to have encouraged and inspired players, singers and ukulele manufacturers, and to have prompted the formation of ukulele ensembles all over the planet.  A German producer has, however, recently hired other British musicians and booked venues to put on shows with a “look alike” and “sound alike” act they call The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra (UKUO).

Please note that we are not, and never have been, affiliated or otherwise connected with the United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra.  In fact, in July 2015, after becoming aware of a significant number of instances of consumer confusion, we, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain brought legal proceedings against UKUO to prevent further damage being sustained to its reputation as performers.  The English Court acknowledged that confusion had arisen and found in UOGB’s favour, granting an injunction that prevents UKUO from performing under that name in England and Wales.  The Court held that use of the name UKUO would constitute a misrepresentation to a substantial proportion of the public in England and Wales that UOGB and UKUO are the same group or are otherwise commercially connected.

A copy of the Court’s judgment can be found here: http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWHC/IPEC/2015/1772.html.

The judge said:
"I am satisfied that the evidence adduced in support of the likelihood of confusion pursuant to art.9(1)(b) establishes that Yellow Promotion's use of the trade name 'The United Kingdom Ukulele Orchestra' misrepresents to a substantial proportion of the public in this country who recognise 'The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain' as the trade name of a particular musical group, that UOGB and UKUO are the same group or are otherwise commercially connected".

We do not take such action lightly, but do so to protect our fans, who are the overriding reason that we still have the privilege to perform 30 years on.  While we actively encourage all musicians, all groups and in particular all ukulele orchestras, we have an obligation on behalf of our fans to ensure that the risk of future confusion is minimised and that the reputation in our name and act is protected.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at customer@ukuleleorchestra.com

National and International press coverage includes:

New York Times:

Ukulele Orchestra Wins UK Court Ruling Against Upstart Rival

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
JULY 2, 2015, 12:20 P.M. E.D.T.
LONDON — 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.

The start of the US chapter of the story is written up here:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/29/great-britain-uk-ukulele-orchestra-shadow-tour

The story is mentioned here:

http://news.psu.edu/story/373311/2015/10/05/arts-and-entertainment/ukulele-orchestra-great-britain-strikes-chord-concept

The start of the US chapter of the story is written up here:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/sep/29/great-britain-uk-ukulele-orchestra-shadow-tour

The story is mentioned here:

http://news.psu.edu/story/373311/2015/10/05/arts-and-entertainment/ukulele-orchestra-great-britain-strikes-chord-concept

Previous report on the outcome of the High Court trial is here:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jul/02/judge-rules-in-battle-of-the-ukulele-orchestras

And from the year before when the court case began:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2014/oct/14/duelling-ukulele-orchestras-may-take-turf-war-to-high-court

The same story was featured in many newspapers worldwide including:

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival/ar-AActA6M

MSN

http://www.telegram.com/article/20150702/NEWS/150709724

Worcester, Massachusetts

http://www.widih.org/news-detail/210990/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival

http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/article/Ukulele-orchestra-wins-UK-court-ruling-against-6363033.php

San Francisco Chronicle

http://wjtv.com/ap/ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival/

http://mmc-news.com/news-ukulele-orchestra-wins-uk-court-ruling-against-upstart-rival-4711.dbv

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