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The Eagles have lost a trademark infringement lawsuit against the American Eagle Foundation over the ornithological use of the www.eagles.org Web site.

Don Henley and his legendary rock band launched legal proceedings against the not-for-profit conservation site in 1998 claiming that its Web site address, "800-2EAGLES" phone number and its "American Eagle Records'' compact disc and video distribution label was treading on the band's talons.

The suit also alleged that the Foundation's eagle-themed trademarks confused the public and harmed the band's record sales and famous name.

However, a judge has finally ruled that the band is bang out of order. The American Eagle Foundation hopes it can recover legal costs and may even seek damages.

Al Cecere, president of the Eagle conservation site which is dedicated to save the US' threatened national symbol, the Bald Eagle, said: "It took four years of defensive legal fighting to stop the rock band's frivolous litigation. We've always viewed their claims as completely baseless and their demands for damages unreasonable.

"Considering the nature of our conservation cause, it's obvious why we use the words 'eagle,' 'eagles' and 'American eagle' in promoting our public education and fundraising activities," said Cecere.

"The words 'eagle' or 'eagles' have been associated with the USA's national symbol for over two hundred years now. Since the founding of our nation and the time of George Washington, those words have been used by tens of thousands of commercial companies to promote products and business.

"In fact, eagle-themed words have been used in hundreds of songs and many entertainment enterprises, some long before the Eagles rock band was born. The fame and popularity of these words in history and folklore certainly precedes the band," he said.

Earlier this year ageing rocker Bruce Springsteen lost his battle to gain control of the domain brucespringsteen.com. ®

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