Sony says the restaurant used "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution" and "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" despite failing to sign an agreed upon deal and pay the $300,000 licensing fee.
The label claims that a music clearance company called Music Dealers facilitated the deal on behalf of Applebee's, along with ad agency Barkley Inc.
"Applebee’s Services and Barkley have refused to pay the license fees to Sony Music, claiming that they paid them to Music Dealers, that Music Dealers was acting as Sony Music’s agent and that Music Dealers has gone out of business," writes attorney Peter Anderson, adding that the excuse is "baseless, contrived and in bad faith."
Sony is suing for breach of contract and copyright infringement. (Read the complaint in full here.)
A version of this article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.