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.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “The Naked Cowboy Claims The Naked Cowgirl Owes Him Franchise Fees”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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).

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

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)”

End of argument….

known coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 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….

ac says:

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 ( 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”.

Lisae Boucher (profile) says:

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!

Danny says:

From what I understand...

I saw a clip about this at 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.)

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...