Sydney up-and-coming indie dance band RUFUS has been forced to change their name in the US to RUFUS DU SOL due to an existing US trademark on the name Rufus.
The renaming of the ARIA-nominated three-piece wasn't an easy choice to make for the local Sydney hit-makers.
The decision comes after months of “colourful internal debate” and “months of strongly worded letters” that ultimately led to the band agreeing to a name change, according to a press release put out by the group.
In a Facebook post promoting their upcoming North American tour and SXSW (South by Southwest festival) appearance, the group explains the name change to their fans saying “we're going to be known as RUFUS DU SOL in North America only... because trademark is a serious bitch”.
Their debut album Atlas will be distributed by Columbia records in America and Canada under the new name RUFUS DU SOL.
Not to be too disheartened by the news, vocalist Tyrone Lindqvist says the band is humbled to be signed to the label with so many iconic artists. “I still have my Fugees CD with the big Columbia stamp on it… not sure if they are gonna try to do that to Atlas,” he jokes.
While it's unclear which exact trademark the name RUFUS is specially infringing in the US, the name is strikingly similar to Chaka Khan's 1970s Chicago funk band Rufus, who topped the charts with Tell Me Something Good and Ain't Nobody.
It's not the first time an Australian band has felt compelled to change their name in the US. The Temper Trap were known as Temper Temper until they learnt of an American band of the same name.
Closer to home, Brisbane's up-and-coming indie five-piece Cub Scouts had to change their name to Cub Sports last August after Scouts Australia logged a cease and desist letter against the band from using its trademarked name.
And while not because of any legal threats, Sydney band the Preatures decided to change the spelling of their name from the Preachers because of “Google hits for Whitney Houston, religious Twitter spam, and being mistaken for a Hillsong band”.