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Legal dispute over Dweezil using the Zappa family name professionally

Written by Mark Reed on 10 October 2017

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There is an ongoing dispute between the Zappa Family Trust and Dweezil Zappa who claims that his two siblings, Ahmet and Diva Zappa, are trying to prevent him from using his Zappa name professionally.

Frank Zappa was an iconic American musician who was known for his innovative rock compositions and for being one of the most stylistic rock musicians of a generation.

In a statement from Ahmet Zappa, he claims that some of the issues that Dweezil has, are not actually down to his and Diva’s refusal, but in fact the trust rules set out by Frank and Gail Zappa themselves, and interestingly that ‘the trust has no issue with Dweezil performing under his full name’.

 The core issue that is going to trial is to understand the details and rights surrounding the Zappa Trade Mark since the 1970s. The Zappa family trust is also disputing Dweezil’s claims that they own rights in his Trade Marks. Apparently, there is also a certain level of disgust that Dweezil is wrongly misleading fans that he cannot afford this legal battle. Ahmet said “For me on a personal level, I think it’s disgraceful that Dweezil, a guy who has received millions of dollars, would mislead and manipulate Zappa fans into thinking he cannot afford to handle his own, again in my opinion, completely absurd lawsuit against the ZFT – of which he is a beneficiary – collecting money from many people who may have far less than he does… to fight a battle that if he TRULY wanted to resolve, he could have tried communicating directly with his little brother”.

Dweezil’s latest response was simple. He addressed his brother Ahmet stated “I’m sure you’re aware that you could easily make things better right away by signing a trademark co-existence agreement. Why not show good faith in advance of a phone call?”

It looks like this case will still go to court, so we will keep our eyes peeled for an update.

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