Following a renewed social media campaign by Brighton-based charity, Rhythmix, Simon Cowell and his company Simco have apparently withdrawn the European trademark application for the name. Late on Wednesday, news broke via The Guardian that according to a Syco spokeswoman, the pursuit of the name Rhythmix was to be abandoned.
No formal public statement has been made as of yet by the X Factor camp, but previously in the day the organisation had stated that Rhythmix had refused an earlier offer to revert all trademarks and corresponding applications to the charity. To put this in context, Mark Davyd, Director of Rhythmix clarified the charity’s position on this matter by stating that the condition to which the charity would have had to adhere in this agreement were unsatisfactory. Simco had demanded in an e-mail marked as “subject to contract and private and confidential” that Rhythmix “would refrain from any derogatory comments about them / Syco / Simco / TalkbackTHAMES / X Factor going forward”; effectively indemnifying Cowell and his businesses from any further actions, which the charity declined to commit to.
One may consider why the charity refused to accept this offer, bearing in mind that any dispute over the trademarking of the name would be resolved. Here it is; to date, Rhythmix have incurred legal costs of £8,000. This sum is enough to provide 120 hours of music workshops to young people and ironically enough, the cost of three seconds of advertising between each part of the X Factor when screened at prime-time on ITV1.
The topic of the legal fees that Rhythmix believe Simco owe to them is one that has piqued the interest of one influential figure in particular. On Thursday morning, Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion tabled an Early Day Motion – a formal topic submitted for discussion in the House of Commons – calling on Cowell and his companies to formally drop the trademark and reimburse the costs due to the charity.
It was reported this morning, via a Syco spokeswoman, that the company now considers the matter closed. It has become apparent, from the social network campaign that has run throughout this dispute that Cowell won’t be safe from the Rhythmix activists until the charity receives back every penny it has seemingly had to spend in order to protect not only its name, but also its brand identity.