Van Halen has initiated a lawsuit against drummer Alex Van Halen's former spouse, claiming that her use of the family name for commercial purposes is infringing on the band's trademark. Reports are that Kelly Van Halen has launched a construction and interior design business and recently filed trademark applications for the right to name the company after herself.  The rock group has responded by taking legal action, claiming that consumers could mistakenly think the band is behind Kelly's products and services.

Kelly Carter changed her last name to her husband's when they married in 1984, and kept the Van Halen moniker after the couple divorced in 1996.  In addition to offering construction and interior design services, her company sells such items as chairs, children's blankets and bathing suits.

The lawsuit, which was filed last week in a Los Angeles court, asserts that the company's name is "confusingly similar to Plaintiff's 'Van Halen' Marks in sound, appearance and commercial impression."  The suit also maintains that Kelly's products and services "are either identical or closely related to the goods sold by Plaintiff," which could dilute or result in unfair competition with the Van Halen brand.