The musicians look set for a showdown over the use of the name after former band members announced they were adopting it, despite a rival camp already touring and recording with it.
According to au.news.yahoo.com, ex-singer Ali Campbell has joined up with former members Astro and Mickey Virtue to form a new band called UB40.
The news has infuriated the group's current line-up, which features five remaining founding members including Ali's guitarist brother Robin Campbell, and Duncan Campbell, who took over vocals from his sibling.
They issued a statement which said: ""We are outraged at this latest desperate attempt by our former band mates to hijack UB40's brand name, business and legacy... As for Ali, Mickey and Astro, the matter is now in the hands of our lawyers."
Formed 36 years ago, the group is known for hits including Food For Thought, One In Ten, Red Red Wine and a cover of the Sonny and Cher classic I Got You Babe.