Yoko Ono won't let it be, forces 'John Lemon' drink to re-brand

John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono forces a Polish beverage company to rename its new drink, called John Lemon,

yoko-ono-won-and-039;t-let-it-be-forces--and-039;john-lemon-and-039;-drink-to-rebrand photo 1 Photo: The company has now agreed to change its drink's name to On Lemon. (Supplied: John Lemon)

Artist Yoko Ono has forced a Polish beverage company to rename its new drink, called John Lemon, after threatening legal action.

The widow of Beatles great John Lennon alleged the soft drink infringed on the trademark of her late husband and his rights.

The company has now agreed to change the drink's name to On Lemon, reaching a settlement so that they could continue their business.

Karol Chamera, the founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks, which distributed the John Lemon beverage in the UK, told the East London Advertiser newspaper that they could not afford to keep up the battle.

"All of us involved with this product are start-ups and we couldn't take on someone who is worth many, many millions," she said.

Lawyers acting for Ono wrote to distributors warning the company faced costs of up to 5,000 euros ($7,401) a day and 500 euros ($739) for every bottle sold if they infringed the trademark.

yoko-ono-won-and-039;t-let-it-be-forces--and-039;john-lemon-and-039;-drink-to-rebrand photo 2 Photo: The widow of Beatles great John Lennon alleged that it infringed on her late husband's trademark. (Supplied: Jack Mitchell)

Lawyers acting for the beverage firm denied it had infringed the late star's rights.

But Ono's lawyers pointed to a Facebook post from John Lemon Ireland, which featured an image of the iconic singer.

Other marketing materials included the brand's logo next to the words "let it be" and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon.

John Lemon's lawyers pointed out that their EU trademark had been registered in 2014, two years earlier than the John Lennon trademark, which was registered in 2016.

ABC/Reuters

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