Steve Perry sues former Journey bandmates

Perry is requesting the trademarks be rescinded

Steve Perry has filed a petition against his former Journey bandmates Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain over the use of 20 of the band’s songs as registered trademarks. Between February and May 2022, Schon and Cain were granted trademarks for some of the band’s biggest hits, like “Separate Ways,” “Open Arms” and “Anyway You Want It” for use on merchandising, such as hats, jackets, shirts, etc., without Perry’s consent.

Perry argues that an agreement between himself and Schon and Cain states that “…no Partner may authorize, approve or disapprove any use or exploitation, or grant or license any rights in or to any Group Composition(s), in whole or in part, (including, without limitation, the titles thereof) in connection with any Product or otherwise, without the prior, written, unanimous consent of all of the Partners in each instance, and any purported authorization, approval, disapproval, grant, or license in violation hereof shall be deemed void from inception.”

The grouped entered into an Elmo Agreement in 1997 which established that “for any song or musical composition, regardless of who wrote it, that falls within the definition of Group Composition(s), prior to any usage, including use on or in connection with products as a trademark or otherwise, of such song or musical composition, which expressly includes the title thereto, unanimous agreement and consent by the Partners would be required as to such usage. Thus, for clarity and by example, even a song that was written 100% by Perry and that is a Group Composition(s), would require unanimous approval and consent by the Partners prior to use, as a trademark or otherwise, on or in connection with any products.”

Perry is asking that the trademark registrations be canceled and accuses Schon and Cain with “fraud” due to “false or misleading information with the intent to deceive or defraud the USPTO into granting Registrant the Registrations.”

Schon and Cain were the plaintiffs in a lawsuit against drummer Steve Smith and bassist Ross Valory in 2020 for attempting corporate coup d’état. Schon and Cain filed a lawsuit against their former bandmates, and accused them of sowing discord among the band members by engaging in self-dealing and selfishly putting their interests ahead of the band’s and sought $10 million for damages.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: