One Direction countersues One Direction
Members of One Direction (from left to right) Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne. (Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images/AFP)
The managers of British boy band One Direction have filed a countersuit against an American group with the same name.
Simon Cowell and his partners at Syco Entertainment and Sony Music were hit with a trademark lawsuit by the U.S. One Direction earlier this year over claims they had the name first - a year before the British group former for the U.K.'s X Factor show in 2010.
But on Thursday bosses from both companies launched a counter-attack against the less popular One Direction, who don't even have a record deal, alleging the group "devised and perpetrated a scheme to exploit the goodwill" of the boy band.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, bosses at Syco and Sony allege the What Makes You Beautiful hitmakers began promoting themselves on YouTube.com in September, 2010 - five months before America's One Direction began selling its album The Light on iTunes in February 2011.
They are now seeking damages for false designation of origin, unfair competition and cybersquatting.