News Stories

CRO-MAGS’ founder Harley Flanagan sues John Joseph for trademark infringement

1 min read

After resolving their longstanding dispute over the Cro-Mags name in 2019, Harley Flanagan and John Joseph are back with a new installment of their conflict. The NY Post has reported that a new complaint has been filed in a Manhattan federal court on Monday by Harley.

Flanagan alleges that on April 23, 2022, Joseph played a benefit under the name “Cro-Mags JAM.” and he is now asking for a permanent injunction preventing Joseph from using the Cro-Mags trademark in any form.

The complaint states:

““The impermissible phrase Cro-Mags JAM suggests that Mr. Flanagan, the original member of Cro-Mags, would be conducting a jam session with other musicians—which is obviously not the case.”

“This clearly constitutes unfair competition, trademark infringement, and a material breach of the Settlement Agreement, as it is an impermissible use of Plaintiff’s CROMAGS Mark.” 

Under the 2019 settlement, Flanagan took ownership of the Cro-Mags name and Joseph was granted a license to tour as “Cro-Mags JM.”

Harley Flanagan at Ieperfest
Harley Flanagan at Ieperfest

Flanagan commented:

“When you have fought for something that is yours as hard as I have and spent the kind of money that I have you have to protect what you own you can’t just walk away from it when people decide to violate the terms.

I have no problem fighting for what’s mine anybody who knows me knows that. I’m not afraid to do what’s right and I’m not afraid of anyone. So until you’ve had to fight for something that is yours as hard as I have you should shut the fuck up. And the New York post in particular has always taken every opportunity they can to shit on me and twist the truth. I wonder if it’s because the NY posts editor used to have a crush on my wife. Sorry buddy fuck you and your rag of a paper.” 


Flanagan has claimed that Cro-Mags was solely his idea when he formed the band in 1981.

Harley filed a federal trademark infringement against other members, including John Joseph McGowan, in 2018, claiming they took over the band in 2002 and used the Cro-Mags name without permission.

Karol Kamiński

DIY rock music enthusiast and web-zine publisher from Warsaw, Poland. Supporting DIY ethics, local artists and promoting hardcore punk, rock, post rock and alternative music of all kinds via IDIOTEQ online channels.
Contact via [email protected]

Previous Story

STICK TO YOUR GUNS’ Jesse Barnett controversy – the band dropped from European shows

Next Story

WAR Records announces The Secrets We Keep, the debut LP from Philadelphia’s FIXATION