Norwegian metal band Immortal have another name dispute on their hands. Harald “Demonaz Doom Occulta” Nævdal and Reidar “Horgh” Horghagen are at odds after Nævdal registered a trademark for the band’s name exclusively for himself.
According to a report by VG on July 13, 2020, the trademark was filed back in July 2019 and granted following a review period. Horghagen was unaware of the filing at the time and recently successfully appealed the decision with the Norwegian Patent Office, who said that “the right to the mark belongs to the band, and not to individual members.”
A similar situation happened in 2014 when former frontman Olve “Abbath Doom Occulta” Eikemo attempted to trademark the “Immortal” name for himself without informing or including Nævdal and Horghagen. The two were firmly against Abbath holding sole rights to the name and protested the ruling with the Norwegian Patent Office. Their protest was upheld and the incident eventually led to Abbath leaving the band.
Nævdal maintains that he should have the exclusive right to the band’s name since he is the sole original member and only member to have played on all of their albums. He plans to continue pursuing legal action for the rights to the name.
Said Horghagen about Nævdal’s attempt to trademark the band name, “It could never have occurred to me to register the trademark on myself as Nævdal has done here, but I have found myself having to fight to keep the rights I have earned through a long career in this band. It is, and after all has been for many years, a large part of my livelihood.” Aside from his appeal, Horghagen also tried to become a co-owner of the trademark, but that request was rejected by the patent office.
Even though the legal issues have drawn the two apart (the only time they have spoken in the last year has been through their lawyers), Horghagen says that he hopes that he and Nævdal can perform together again at some point. “It has been my goal all the way, and I know that this is something Immortal fans want and have been waiting for a long time, he says. I hope in the long run that we can manage to put these disagreements behind us, and again look ahead as a band.”
Immortal released their latest album, Northern Chaos Gods, in 2018. It was the band’s first album without Abbath on vocals. Nævdal says that he has been writing new music, though it is unclear how and when it will be released.