Simon Cowell has been hit by a lawsuit over the name of his big hit boy band One Direction.

A U.S. group with the same name is suing Cowell's company Syco Entertainment and Sony Music claiming fans and the media are getting confused as to which band is which.

The case in point: a track by the American version of One Direction was played on the Today show last week before a performance by Cowell's invading Brits.

The lesser known One Direction, who don't even have a record label, now want $1 million in damages from Cowell's company and Sony bosses.

An attorney for America's One Direction, Peter Ross, tells The Hollywood Reporter his clients released their debut, The Light, last year and Cowell and company were well aware there was already a One Direction in the U.S. when they first arrived as part of the new British pop invasion.

Ross says, "Rather than change their name or do anything to create confusion or avoid damage to our goodwill, they chose to press ahead and come on their tour."

The dispute is now in the hands of America's Trademark Trial & Appeal Board.