A lawyer representing original ENTOMBED frontman Lars-Göran "LG" Petrov has commented on the ongoing legal battle between the singer and fellow founding ENTOMBED member Alex Hellid (guitar) regarding the rights to the band's name.
On May 17, Hellid released a statement in which he claimed that the Swedish Court of First Instance (Patent and Market Court [PMD] at Stockholm District Court) found in his favor on all points.
Helene Hillerström Miksche from Comlaw, which represents Petrov and other members of LG's version of ENTOMBED (now billed as ENTOMBED A.D.), has disputed the claims made by Alex, insisting that the court's decision does not give the guitarist the exclusive right to use the name.
In a statement sent to the Swedish music business site MusikIndustrin.se, she writes: "Unfortunately, incorrect information has been spread following the two judgments announced by the Patent and Market Court last [month] concerning the right to the band name in different product classes. The court's decision is unfortunate in many ways, and largely difficult to understand. Regardless of what decisions are made, the effect of them is not that the brand and the band name belong to Alex and the former band members. The decisions have not gained legal force and can be appealed.
"LG's and the rest of the band's attitude is that the band name belongs to the band in common, and Alex has been offered to be also registered for trademark registration," she continues. "The same applies to former band members. Alex's attitude so far has been that he himself shall own the name and he's treating the rest of the band, including LG, who has been a member since its inception, as if they were without legal rights. LG and the rest of the band are still hoping to reach an out-of-court settlement and have submitted several conciliation proposals."
In announcing the Patent and Market Court's decision last month, Hellid said that it was "great relief that this issue is now finally ruled on and we can return to focusing on giving people more ENTOMBED." He added: "We have discussed ideas and plans of what we want to do and look forward to working together on creating the best possible ENTOMBED for the future, both in the recording studio and in a live setting."
Hellid and Petrov have been embroiled in a legal battle over the ENTOMBED name for several years. In 2014, Petrov was reportedly awarded the right to use the band name in connection with future recording and touring activities, a decision which Hellid appealed without success. The guitarist then went on to register a trademark for spirits production under the "Entombed" name. This move did not sit well with Hellid's former bandmate, who filed a letter of protest against Alex's registration of the name, claiming that it could be confused with band activities. He also said that Hellid acted in "bad faith" when he registered name and that there was a desire to "deceive the public." Petrov's protest, however, found no favor with the Swedish Patent And Registration Office, which rejected his claims on the issue in a March 8, 2016 ruling.
In an interview with Revolution-Music.dk, Petrov defended his group's decision to release albums and tour under the name ENTOMBED A.D. in order to avoid a legal battle with Hellid who didn't want his former bandmates to use the ENTOMBED moniker: "It had to be done, because without an album you can't tour," he explained. "I mean, you can tour, but if there's seven years between albums, it's ridiculously long. So we did the right thing, and we did what bands should do, and still do — release an album and go on tour and headbang and have a good time with friends, and that's what it's all about."
He continued: "There was too much bullshit — crying and whining about things. It's just ridiculous.
"Some people are comfortable staying at home, but then just step aside and let us do our thing.
"We added two letters, but it's still the same band — [only] without people that wanna stay at home, or take millions of years [coming up with] a [new] riff."
Asked if he thinks the ENTOMBED name has been damaged as a result of the drama surrounding the split with Hellid and the decision to continue as ENTOMBED A.D., Petrov said: "Nah, not really. A thousand people have a thousand different opinions — good and bad. But we do what we felt was right. And we're out here touring, and that's the most important [thing], I think. And leave the childishness aside and play metal, basically."
ENTOMBED A.D.'s second album, "Dead Dawn", was released in February 2016 via Century Media.
A completely different version of ENTOMBED — featuring Hellid, alongside fellow founding members Uffe Cederlund (guitar) and Nicke Andersson (drums) — played the band's groundbreaking 1991 album, "Clandestine", in its entirety at Malmö Live in Malmö, Sweden in November 2016. Joining them at the show were Robert Andersson (vocals) and Nicke's half brother Edvin Aftonfalk (bass), both formerly of the Swedish death metal band MORBUS CHRON.
Two weeks earlier, the new Hellid-led lineup of ENTOMBED made its live debut on the Close-Up Båten cruise.