Ringo Starr sex aid court case closed: A happy ending for the Beatles star?

Ringo Starr discusses his ‘peace and love’ catchphrase in March

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Not surprisingly, there have been plenty of comments about the case reaching its climax and whether there will be a happy ending for all involved. While the product in question is certainly meant to prolong pleasure, this legal wrangle has been rumbling on for far longer than the pop legend would have liked. Lawyers for Ringo actually filed a motion back in 2019 against the Screaming O Pleasure Products company, claiming that a particular penis aid would tarnish “his name, likeness, and brand”.

The whole matter centres on a range of penis rings called the RingO. 

Obviously, the word is already heavily associated with the former Beatle. The Screaming O’s range all have an ‘o’ at the end of product names as part of their branding. Presumably, the ‘o’ is meant to stand for ‘orgasm’ in the company name and then has become a marketing gimmick. So, as well as the RingO, there is also the BangO and TriO.

However, Ringo’s original application to block the company from trademarking their RingO range says that he already has numerous trademarks issued and protected in his name.

Back in 2018, Pacific Coast Holdings IP, LLC, the parent company of Screaming O, applied to trademark the name Ring O for a vibrating penis ring, which they have produced and sold under that name since 2008.

Ringo’s legal team filed in opposition in 2019, claiming this broke an existing agreement that allowed them to use the name so long as they never attempted to trademark it.

In December 2020 the Screaming O’s team said: “It is not often a Beatle becomes a trademark squatter to eke out a few extra bucks, but that is what this case is about…”

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The Beatles’ team original legal argument said: “Ringo is an internationally known performer, who has had his hand in a variety of entertainment services and consumer products, such as music, movies, musical instruments, merchandise and clothing, among others.

“This is further established by the fact that the Ringo Trademarks are registered in a wide variety of classes…

“Since Opposer’s (Ringo) name is tied to a wide variety of products, consumers will likely believe that Opposer’s newest venture is sex toys – and this is an association that Opposer does not want.”

In the end, the case has been resolved, with The Creaming O brand allowed to continue marketing penis rings using the same name.

However, there must now always be a clearly defined space in between the word Ring and the letter ‘o’ so that it is not all one word, like the Ringo’s own name.

Pacific Holdings also undertook to “avoid any activity likely to lead to confusion” linking their products and the former Beatle. They pledged not to  “degrade, tarnish or deprecate or disparage” Starr’s name or image, or by any method associate their sex aids with Starr.

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