The Naked Cowboy Claims The Naked Cowgirl Owes Him Franchise Fees

from the naked-trademarks dept

A few years ago, we noted that Richard Burck, better known as "The Naked Cowboy" (a guy who wanders around Times Square in NY strumming a guitar while only wearing underwear and a cowboy hat) had sued candy company Mars for having a "naked cowboy M&M" appear in a commercial. You see, for a (mostly) naked guy, he's still not above using trademark law to claim that only he can be naked and in a cowboy hat. So, it comes as no surprise that his naked litigious ways are showing up again. iamtheky was the first of a whole bunch of you to submit the news that he's demanding "franchise fees" from a woman who calls herself "The Naked Cowgirl." Her response is that she's not violating his rights at all, and that, as a former stripper, she's been naked a lot longer than Burck. I'd bring up our favorite moron in a hurry test here, but I'm actually afraid that might add one too many morons to deal with in this case.


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    Ima Fish (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 12:53pm

    Once again, it needs to be said. I long for the good old days when trademarks could not be merely descriptive.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      He is neither naked nor a cowboy, so merely descriptive is not an issue...though since he is neither it could be deemed deceptively misdescriptive.

      If he does have a TM, and having looked at the woman's photo, I might be inclined to charge her with tarnishment (tongue in cheek, of course).

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    well as they say on Digg, pics or it didn't happen.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:15pm

    I'm sure that there are many adolescences willing to search for "prior art"...

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:16pm

    "I'd bring up our favorite moron in a hurry test here, but I'm actually afraid that might add one too many morons to deal with in this case."

    Hah.

     

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    reboog711 (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:21pm

    I'm not sure of this one...

    The Naked Coybow clearly has an established brand; and it appears the naked cowgirl is clearly similar, while also playing off his name.

    I can easily see a "moron in a hurry" thinking the two "Franchises" may be associated with each other.

     

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      senshikaze (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:29pm

      Re: I'm not sure of this one...

      yes, because previous indications have shown that human beings can't tell the difference between a male and a female of their own species. /sarcmark (c)(TM)(patent pending)

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:31pm

        Re: Re: I'm not sure of this one...

        "yes, because previous indications have shown that human beings can't tell the difference between a male and a female of their own species. /sarcmark (c)(TM)(patent pending)"

        http://www.accesshollywood.com/daniel-radcliffe-on-justin-bieber-thought-it-was-a-woman -singing_article_33826

        End of argument....

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: I'm not sure of this one...

          Actually its not. Hearing someone sing and seeing a naked body are not the same. Many voices sound different when singing and could be mistaken for a female voice.

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm not sure of this one...

            "human beings can't tell the difference between a male and a female of their own species."

            Was the comment I was responding to. Plus, I'm fairly certain if one stripped down Justin Bieber to his skivvies he'd still look like a 12 year old girl....

             

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              known coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 5:29am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm not sure of this one...

              Evil Dark Helmut,

              I did not need that visual thank you for ruining my morning. ;o)



              "human beings can't tell the difference between a male and a female of their own species."

              Was the comment I was responding to. Plus, I'm fairly certain if one stripped down Justin Bieber to his skivvies he'd still look like a 12 year old girl....

               

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    MD (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    So I guess there goes my dream of being the technopirate or technoninja...

     

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    Stuart, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:48pm

    Normally

    Normally I side against stupid crap like this. Seriously though. The Naked Cowboy should be suing to get her completly off the streets. That chick is U G L Y !

     

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      Tom Landry (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:38pm

      Re: Normally

      Sandy Kane is an old burlesque entertainer from way back. She's frequently on Opie & Anthonys radio show. I'd say something in her defense but she is indeed uglier than a can of smashed assholes with a personality thats not too far behind. Having said that she can be pretty entertaining in her own twisted way.

       

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    ac, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    I may be outing myself...

    I read in an article about The Naked Cowboy in "The New Yorker" that he makes his living on licensing his likeness and making paid appearances. I don't know the extent of his trademarks, but being clad only in underthings and cowboy hat adorned with patriotic decorations, and an acoustic guitar seem to identify his "brand". If you look up The naked cowgirl (www.nakedcowgirlny.com) and compare her costume and name to his, I can see how someone might assume that the two are instances of the same brand. As far as his brand goes, I live in the midwest and I've heard of him, but I haven't heard about any other individual costumed performers in NY. Perhaps there needs to be more competition in the costumed street performer market in NY, but I don't disagree with his desire to protect his "brand".

     

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    weneedhelp (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 1:51pm

    He he

    Must.... resist.... web search... for... Naked Cowrgirl....at work. ARRGHHHHH!!!!!

     

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    a-dub (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Screw it...I searched it at work. She isnt the hottest thing around but she's far from from "U G L Y". I cant figure out what's more idiotic...trademarking the "Naked Cowboy" or licensing his likeness....its just stupid.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      I think trademarking "Naked Cowboy" is less idiotic than wasting time discussing the trademarking of "Naked Cowboy" with no stake in the outcome...I feel idiotic at this point.

       

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    naked news, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:25pm

    and in da news

    IM NOT PAYING

     

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    sd, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 2:33pm

    Naked in space

    Hmmm....Astronaut helmet + naked = Naked Astronaut... I am cashing in!

     

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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 3:23pm

    S'truth!

    "...she's been naked a lot longer than Burck."

    Yeah, I'd say so.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 4:23pm

    25 replies, and no TAMbacca defence? This is madness!

     

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    TN, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 6:20pm

    'Her response is that she's not violating his rights at all, and that, as a former stripper, she's been naked a lot longer than Burck.'

    lol that was funny! :D

     

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    Tamara, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 11:46pm

    Back in the 70s there was TV character in Australia called the "Naked Cowboy" who played a guitar wearing nothing but briefs and cowboy hat. He was in a studio, not on the street. I wonder if the new Naked Cowboy was sued, afterall using his argument he must have stolen the idea.

     

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    Lisae Boucher (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 1:31am

    An important difference...

    There is a very important difference between the naked cowboy and the naked cowgirl. The cowboy walks around topless (not naked) while the cowgirl even keeps her top on.
    Still, doesn't equal rights mean that the cowgirl should be allowed to walk topless too? Or is the cowboy violating some indecency laws because he walks around topless where this is not allowed? I'm in favor of equal rights and so far, they don't seem to make use of this. :-)

    Btw, "naked"? I'm naked when I'm at the nudism beach, which means I'm not wearing underwear either. I'd consider this false advertising from both!

     

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      Almost Anonymous (profile), Jun 24th, 2010 @ 9:52am

      Re: An important difference...

      Is "The Naked Cowgirl" in New York too? (I refuse to google this myself). If so, New York state allows women to be topless (or more accurately, there is no law against it).

       

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    Danny, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 7:35am

    From what I understand...

    I saw a clip about this at Cnn.com yesterday and according to what Naked Cowboy said in that clip this woman going by Naked Cowgirl isn't just doing a similar act but she is actively claiming that she is associated with the Naked Cowboy brand and is profitting from it (she sells pictures of herself).

    Now arguing about if he should be able to build a brand around this is one thing. But once the brand is built I have to agree that if someone comes along claiming to be associated with said brand and is making profit when they aren't then its a problem.

    And it should also be noted that he didn't open fire with demanding licensing fees. At first he supposedly sent a C&D Order because she was claiming association with his brand.

    I mean if I opened up a site and claimed association with TechDirt and began to profit from it I would understand the folks here not liking it. (I doubt it would profit just making an example.)

     

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      known coward, Jun 25th, 2010 @ 5:33am

      Re: From what I understand...

      Naked Techdirt ?!!!

      now can i trademark that, or is it too derivitive?


      Sorry Mr. Masnick you must strip to you american flag briefs now.

       

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