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Abba settle lawsuit with Abba Mania

By | Published on Friday 21 January 2022

Abba (Credit: Baillie Walsh)

Abba have settled a lawsuit they filed last month against the producers of a tribute show called Abba Mania. Terms of the settlement are not known, although a legal rep for the band told Billboard that the owners of Abba Mania will now rebrand their show.

The Abba Mania shows – run by UK firm Handshake – have been staged since 2000, including an eighteen week West End run in 2002. It’s not entirely clear why Abba decided to go legal after such a long time, though the band launching their own concerts – albeit with the Abba stars themselves appearing in holographic form – was a likely motivation.

Abba’s lawsuit was filed in the US, where a tour of Abba Mania shows took place last autumn. The legal filing accused the Abba Mania producers of trademark infringement, arguing that the show’s name and the way it was marketed suggested some kind of “association, affiliation or sponsorship” with or from the band themselves.

The Abba Mania website does currently include a disclaimer stating that the shows are in no way linked to or endorsed by the group, and that statement is much more prominent on pages relating to US performances. However, Abba seemingly wanted clearer communications to safeguard against consumer confusion.

The lawsuit stated that, last October, Abba reps approached the Abba Mania producers and “in an attempt to amicably resolve this dispute, explained how defendants could properly use the phrase ‘Abba Tribute’ in a non-confusing manner to describe their tribute act so long as the actual name of the tribute act did not include the word Abba. But defendants refused to comply and cease use of the name Abba Mania”.

That approach didn’t work, but the lawsuit seemingly has. A new filing with the court confirms a settlement has now been reached. It’s not clear how quickly Abba Mania will rebrand, and whether that commitment applies globally, although presumably that’s what the band would have insisted on, given their plans for the hologram shows.