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OFF BEAT: Founder of The Platters not flattered by this imitation


Perhaps it’s appropriate that one of The Platters’ big hits was “The Great Pretender.”

A group that promotes itself as The Platters in Las Vegas has been hit with a lawsuit charging it is a counterfeit and is infringing on trademarks held by an original member of the 1950s-era singing group.

According to an article in the Las Vegas Sun, Herb Reed Enterprises L.L.P. filed suit Wednesday in federal district court in Las Vegas against the company behind the group, Florida Entertainment Management Inc., and an official with that company, Larry Marshak.

Mr. Reed, of Arlington, Mass., who is the founder and sole surviving member of the original group, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

The lawsuit is the latest in a series of trademark lawsuits concerning the group filed across the country throughout the years, according to the article. The issue is complex because as original Platters members left the group and were replaced in the 1950s and 1960s, some assigned their ownership rights to various entities in addition to creating spinoff groups.

Mr. Reed’s attorneys claim Florida Entertainment Management and Mr. Marshak are behind a counterfeit Platters group that has been performing at the Rio Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. His lawsuit asked the court to require the group to stop using The Platters name, or at least make it clear that it is a tribute group.

It is clear that to Mr. Reed, members of this group are no “Earth Angels.”