Journey‘s Neal Schon has responded to new legal action from former bandmate Steve Perry, calling it “total crap.” Perry is petitioning to cancel trademark registrations for 20 Journey songs filed by Schon and Jonathan Cain.
The list includes several of the band’s most memorable hits, including “Anyway You Want It,” “Open Arms,” “Separate Ways” and others. They were registered earlier this year by Cain and Schon through Freedom JN LLC for use on various merchandise.
Perry’s filing argues that these moves violated a previous legal agreement in which “prior, written unanimous consent of all partners in each instance” is required. Perry is the only credited songwriter on several songs included in the suit and a co-writer on others. His petition claims that “false or misleading information” was used in the process of securing the trademarks.
Schon said his efforts to sort through Journey’s trademark issues sparked the band rift in 2020 that led to a split with bassist Ross Valory and drummer Steve Smith. Perry and Journey’s late manager Herbie Herbert sided with Valory and Smith back then in a vote over control of the corporate entity set up by Herbert to manage Journey.
“They knew all this time I’d been investigating our trademarks for years,” Schon wrote on Facebook. He said he’s been “trying to get to the bottom of all the corruption, as [my wife and I] found that nothing had ever been trademarked besides our music. They all went for a takeover and it didn’t work. Quite simple.”
Schon and his wife have since found a “legitimate” trademark attorney, he said. “We had been getting ripped off since the beginning until I shut it down,” Schon added. “At this point, I decided to go for all album titles as well as song titles,” after learning that “songwriting and copyrights have nothing to do with trademarks.”
He now says that corruption ran through Journey’s business dealings for decades. “What’s crazy is that all the attorneys we’ve had never protected us knowing there was no trademark” on Journey merchandise, Schon wrote on Twitter. “Money under the table for all these years? Major money at retail. It’s protected now.”
Schon said he intends to protect the band. “As long as I’m here, there will always be Journey,” he noted.
“You haven’t heard the last of this, friends,” Schon said on Facebook. “We are going to peel back the onion.”