Court rules against Bobby Blotzer’s company in Ratt row

The original Ratt lineup in the 80s
The original Ratt lineup in the 80s (Image credit: Getty)

The US District Court in California has ruled against Bobby Blotzer’s WBS Inc. in a case over Ratt trademark infringement issues.

It’s the latest twist in the long-running legal dispute involving members of the band, with Blotzer claiming in 2015 that he could use the Ratt name following a five-year trademark fight.

But a California judge has now ruled against his company WBS Inc. who claimed to own the Ratt brand.

When Blotzer secured the name last year, he made several demands that original member Juan Croucier stopped calling his project ‘Ratt’s Juan Croucier’ and refrained from advertising himself as “the other voice of Ratt.”

But court papers show that five members of the band – Blotzer, Croucier, Warren DeMartini, Robbin Crosby and Stephen Pearcy – formed the Ratt Partnership in 1985, so that “no partner could transfer his interest without the unanimous written consent of all partners.”

When WBS Inc. sent Croucier a letter sacking him in 1997, only Blotzer, Pearcy and DeMartini were members – and because of that, they insisted they didn’t need his consent when transferring the Ratt trademark from the partnership to WBS.

However, the court found the letter to be insufficient as it was signed only by Blotzer and Pearcy and there was “no evidence that DeMartini ever consented to Croucier’s expulsion.”

The court say as there’s no evidence that Croucier was expelled, “WBS cannot make the threshold showing that it has an ownership interest in the marks, and its trademark claims fail.”

Part of the latest round of legal wrangling also involves ex Ratt manager Rob Hoffman, who had sole administration of the band social media accounts. Blotzer asked Hoffman to turn over all logins and passwords to WBS Inc. in 2015 – but was then asked not to by DeMartini.

Despite Hoffman wishing to remain neutral, WBS filed a suit against him, and two weeks later, DeMartini announced he would take legal action against Blotzer for control of WBS.

The papers add: “Even assuming that WBS owned the social media accounts to which it demanded access, no reasonable trier of fact could conclude that Hoffman’s refusal to turn over the logins and passwords was wrongful.”

As a result of the court rulings, Pearcy, DeMartini and Croucier have expelled Blotzer from the partnership and taken control over the Ratt name.

A press release reads: “Blotzer thus has no further interest in the Ratt name and may now only refer to himself as a ‘former member of Ratt’ as per the partnership agreement.

“DeMartini, Pearcy and Croucier look forward to continuing to tour as Ratt and thank their fans for all the ongoing support.”

In August, Pearcy hinted at a possible Ratt reunion when the singer was pictured with Croucier and DeMartini at the Los Angeles birthday party of former RIP magazine editor Lonn Friend.

Pearcy would make one last Ratt album

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.