Today’s demand letter on “Reading Other People’s Mail” is the one the attorneys for former-Rolling Stone Bill Wyman sent the Atlanta Journal Constitution, employer of a music writer named Bill Wyman. This story was widely circulated as one of thse “trademark lawyers going too far” stories, especially given the punchline – the journalist was born Bill Wyman in 1961, the Stones’ Wyman changed his name to Wyman in 1963, so the journalist has birth priority, if not trademark priority.
Someone reading a music column by someone named Bill Wyman may indeed think that the former Stone has fallen on hard times and become a journalist. Whether the request that the journalist put in a disclaimer (perhaps “Not That Bill Wyman” as he suggested) should have come in a nice phone call rather than a lawyer’s letter is another issue.
The matter is reportedly settled.