According to The Hollywood Reporter, Next Films — the newly formed film-production company launched by top reality TV producer Mike Fleiss — has signed a deal with BLACK SABBATH guitarist-songwriter Tony Iommi for "Black Sabbath", a horror movie franchise. The films won't be about the group but will use the title as a jumping-off point. Iommi also will score the movies.As previously reported, Ozzy Osbourne filed a lawsuit against Iommi in May, claiming that the guitarist illegally took sole ownership of BLACK SABBATH's name in a filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Osbourne is suing Iommi for a 50 percent interest in the "Black Sabbath" trademark, along with a portion of Iommi's profits from use of the name. The Manhattan federal court suit also charges that Osbourne's "signature lead vocals" are largely responsible for the band's "extraordinary success," noting that its popularity plummeted during his absence from 1980 through 1996. Ozzy's suit follows one filed by Iommi in December 2008 against Live Nation. In that filing, Iommi claims the concert giant sold merchandise bearing the band's logo, despite the 2006 expiration of a merchandising deal, reportedly worth nearly $80 million. Soon after that agreement concluded, Iommi reclaimed the band's trademark. Iommi's suit argues Live Nation continued to sell more than 100 items of merchandise featuring the band's likeness, name and logo, despite the receipt of cease-and-desist orders from the guitarist's camp. Iommi's suit seeks damages in the amount of three times the profits from the merchandise sales, plus a halt to the BLACK SABBATH product sales.
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