Former Take That boss loses court battle over use of the word ‘queer’

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The former manager of boy band Take That has lost a legal battle with a gay nightclub over use of the word “queer”.

Nigel Martin-Smith, whose company owned “Bar Queer”, an LGBT venue in Manchester’s Canal Street, had claimed a venue set up in Birmingham called “Queer Street” was an infringement of its trademark.

Despite the then owner, Bar Queer Ltd, going into liquidation in July 2013, the claim was assigned to NMSM Group, which had become the new owner of Manchester’s Queer Bar.

But a judge has now thrown out the claim against brothers Lawrence and Darren Barton of the Nightingale Group, owners of “Queer Street” in Birmingham.

Manchester Evening News reports that Lawrence Barton said he was “elated” at the outcome and relieved it was over.

He said: “The bar and brand in Manchester was so distinctly different to ours in its concept and branding.

“Were hordes of people from Manchester going to come in and say they were confused about the branding? It was really quite absurd in my view.

“I also thought what gives someone the right to have autonomy over the word ‘queer’? Back in the nineties the Nightingale had a night called ‘Queer’.”

Mr Martin-Smith founded Take That in 1989 after being inspired by the success of the US band New Kids on the Block.

Robbie Williams lost a legal fight against Mr Martin-Smith in 1999 in a dispute over commission entitlements and royalties.

Williams, who quit Take That in 1995, previously talked about his animosity towards Mr Martin-Smith, who he claimed made rumours about his sexuality.