Chubby Checker Sues Two Companies For $500 Million Over Wang-Measuring App Downloaded 84 Times

from the you-can't-make-this-stuff-up dept

Here’s a question that has been keeping me awake for the past several years: what would I call a smart phone application designed to approximate the size of my naughty parts? The answer, of course, is to call it the Chubby Checker, which is exactly what a company did some time ago. Apparently 1960’s rock and roll legend Chubby Checker is so pissed off about it that he wants approximately all of the money (by which he means a hell of a lot more money than) the app ever made. And, for some reason, he wants it from HP and Palm, who no longer offer the app at all due to the platform being completely dead, and who appear to have complied with his requests in every way. There’s a joke about Palm being involved in a penis size app, but most of it is too vulgar for Techdirt’s audience. Let’s just say the punchline is “That’s what I call two in the hand and one in the bush!” and get back to the story.

Checker’s lawyers are seeking half a billion dollars for the “irreparable damage and harm” caused by the Chubby Checker, an app for Hewlett-Packard’s Palm OS platform. “This lawsuit is about preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard [editor’s note: HA!] at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time,” explained lawyer Willie Gary.

Yes, according to Willie [editor’s note: his name had to be Willie, didn’t it?], an application from a company now extinct, released for a mobile platform also extinct, has caused irreparable harm to a rocker from the 60’s. Okay, apologies for digging into this, but that’s what the post requires. A chubby is a term for a man’s wang. If you’re going to check it out, chubby checker describes the app. Sorry, but that’s the deal. And I want to know who, out of the grand total of 84 people who downloaded this app, in any way thought about The Twist, or in any possible way thought that this app was endorsed by the 71 year old man born Earnest Evans. Because here’s the thing: if you associated a penis and a song about a dance in which you twist into knots, you’re a masochist and an idiot. And, frankly, the tarnishment aspect of their complaint is the most reasonable part of it all.

That’s because of their ridiculous request for $500 million for an app downloaded 84 times on a platform now defunct from a company also defunct. And their filing is against HP and Palm, not the actual app developer, who actually took the app down in September of last year, the same month when that same filing shows Checker’s lawyers first sent HP/Palm their cease and desist (filing embedded below). So, they took a dead app for a dead platform that almost nobody downloaded and injected all of it back into the public news realm, and Checker’s/Evans’/Whoever’s lawyers claim the app is the one causing harm to the brand? It seems a hell of a lot more likely that filing this ridiculous lawsuit is going to cause harm to Checker’s brand than anything HP or Palm did. Per their own hilarious press release:

The lawsuit alleges that the egregious and flagrant acts of Hewlett Packard and Palm, Inc., if not stopped immediately, will permit Defendants to enjoy profits to which they are not entitled.

Newsflash, guys, there is no current way for HP and Palm to profit from this app. This entire suit against them is ridiculous. If 3rd party sites are still offering it, go file spurious trademark lawsuits against them and then lose in court. HP did everything you asked and you’re still suing them for an astounding $500 million, even though they didn’t create the app or have anything to do with it. Meanwhile, you’re making your client look like a chubby (get it?).

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Companies: hp, palm

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Comments on “Chubby Checker Sues Two Companies For $500 Million Over Wang-Measuring App Downloaded 84 Times”

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ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Not Dumb - Brilliant

Here’s a guy nobody’s noticed in years. So he spends $100.00 on a cheap lawyer (gotta be with a name like Willie)and maybe another hundred to file a lawsuit – BOOM – let the Streisand Effect do the rest. No harm to anyone and untold amounts of free publicity.

I agree. However, I suspect $500 million won’t be enough to pull his name out of the mud.

“Your honor, we want $1 billion because my client suffered major damage to his name and image as a result of filing this lawsuit.”

Baldaur Regis (profile) says:

Willie Gary: Just Another Clueless Noob

From his filing, under reliefs (pp 14-15):

4. Defendants be ordered to notify in writing and direct to its Internet Service Provider(s), Web Host(s) and all publishers of directories or lists, including Internet search engines, in which the Defendants’ use of the names and marks employing CHUBBY CHECKER appear, to delete all references to said names and marks from their public databases, search engine directories, directory assistance and from all future directories in which said names and marks are to appear, and to delete all forwarding or “cache memory” or storage mechanisms referencing names and marks employing CHUBBY CHECKER.

In order to ensure the continuation of Chubby Checkers’ legacy, his lawyer is DEMANDING Chubby Checkers’ name be erased from the internet.

Anonymous Coward says:

So the guy with the funny name files this insane lawsuit for 500 mill. and for Google & CO. to delete all references to him… If this goes through he would not only be a very rich man, but also be responsible for the biggest censoring ever.
HA! if there is one thing the internet hates in combination it is rich old farts who want to censor everything.
Good luck with that mr. Wang!
It would almost be funny to watch if not for the major hit to freedom of speech.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:


An important announcement from the Internet Defense Headquarters:


Subject Chubby Checker is demanding that his name be erased from the Internet because of a now-defunct phallus-measuring application.

Defenders of the Internet, we cannot let his heresy stand!


All keyboard warriors are hereby authorized to spread information about Chubby Checker and this now-impotent “tool” he is raging over through any and all mediums available.


May the lolcats be with you.

-the Internet Zen Master

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:


Apparently being on the Internet reverts one’s maturity level to that of junior high/high school.

Seriously, don’t we have anything better than to make puns about some hasbin defending his trademark (which he has every right to do, even if it is rather ridiculous) because he doesn’t want someone to think that he endorses a no-longer exist tool for measuring a man’s tool-

Damn it, even I’m doing it now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Descriptive term?

Hang on….I thought you couldn’t trademark descriptive terms. If you’re making computers, you can trademark “Apple Computers” but can’t trademark the word “computer”. If you’re growing apples, you could trademark “Computer Apples” but not the word “apple”. And trademarks are supposed to be specific to the industry, meaning that Apple Computers can’t sue orchard farmers for using the word “apple”.

Even assuming that Chubby Checker had both trademarked his name and extended his mark to cover the software industry, he still couldn’t win this case. It would be as silly as Young MC trying to sue a website that listed MC’s under 18 years of age.

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