John Lemon drinks to re-brand after John Lennon trademark infringement threat

It wasn't exactly instant karma when Beatle John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, heard about a Polish beverage company's new drink called John Lemon.

Company used image of Lennon, round glasses and phrase 'Let it be' in marketing

After the threat of legal action from John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, a Polish beverage company is re-branding its John Lemon drinks. (John Lemon/Getty Images)

It wasn't exactly instant karma when Beatle John Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono, heard about a Polish beverage company's new drink called "John Lemon."

She threatened legal action alleging that it infringed on the trademark of her late husband.

The company has now agreed to change its drink's name to "On Lemon", after lawyers acting for Ono wrote to distributors warning they faced costs of up to €5,000 euros (about $7,358 Cdn) a day and €500 euros for every bottle sold if they infringed the trademark.

In its marketing, John Lemon has used imagery directly or suggestive of iconic singer John Lennon, including this mural outside a restaurant in Torun, Poland. (Instagram)

Lawyers acting for the beverage firm denied it had infringed the late star's rights, but Ono's lawyers pointed to a Facebook post from John Lemon Ireland, which featured an image of the iconic singer.

Other marketing materials included the brand's logo next to the words "let it be" and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon.

Other marketing materials the company has used include the brand's logo next to the words "let it be" and a pair of round glasses, both closely associated with Lennon. (John Lemon/Facebook)

John Lemon's lawyers also said that their EU trademark had been registered in 2014, two years earlier than the John Lennon trademark was registered in 2016.

Karol Chamera, the founder of Mr Lemonade Alternative Drinks which distributed the John Lemon beverage in the UK told the East London Advertiser newspaper: "all of us involved with this product are startups and we couldn't take on someone who is worth many, many millions."