Chubby Checker Checks His Lawsuit Against App That Checks Your Chubby

from the penis-jokes dept

Finally, our long, national nightmare is over. If you’ll recall, last year I brought you the story of Earnest Evans, better known as 60’s rock legend Chubby Checker, and his lawsuit against a smartphone app designed to measure the size of a man’s naughty bits, better known as the Chubby Checker. Should you need a refresher, the rocker sued HP and Palm for $500 million under the auspices of trademark, unfair competition, and publicity rights claims. This, by the way, was in reaction to an app that had been downloaded a grand total of 84 times. One would imagine the rebuke from the court would have come quite swiftly.

Not so much, as it turns out. It took until quite recently for the case to be settled, with the unfair competition and publicity rights charges dismissed, but his trademark claims allowed to go forward. HP, likely not wanting to bother with any of this, and certainly not admitting any guilt, paid to have this go away.

The company claimed in a motion to dismiss that it had authorized the app without knowledge of Chubby Checker’s trademarks, and that upon learning of them in the 2012 cease-and-desist letter from Evans’ attorneys, had removed the app within days. A judge sided with Evans that he was “internationally known” as Chubby Checker and that HP’s “detailed” app approval process should have discovered his name. Evans’ trademark infringement claims were allowed.

Honestly, I still don’t get it. What is the chance of confusion here? Earnest is a decades old rocker and this app measures penises. Where’s the customer confusion?

It probably doesn’t matter all that much. While there were no terms of the settlement disclosed, it seems pretty clear reading between the lines that no serious amounts of cash are changing hands here. All that this might have accomplished is to remind everyone that Chubby Checker still walks the Earth, which I guess might be some kind of publicity. Why he’d want to tangentially associate himself and his stage name with penis-measuring applications, on the other hand, is beyond me.

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Companies: hp

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Comments on “Chubby Checker Checks His Lawsuit Against App That Checks Your Chubby”

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14 Comments
John85851 (profile) says:

The endorsement issue

Honestly, I still don’t get it. What is the chance of confusion here? Earnest is a decades old rocker and this app measures penises. Where’s the customer confusion?
There have been numerous stories about how companies sue each other because of similar names because they don’t want people to think there’s any kind of endorsement, licensing agreement, or business relationship.

In this case, the issue is whether people will think Chubby Checker (the musician) somehow licensed his name to the app.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The endorsement issue

This is where the companies/people who sue over “possible” trademark confusion live in a completely different world from the consumers who see these products.

When I see an app called the Chubby Checker, my first thought is that its an app that checks chubbies and is named as a cultural reference but not an implication of endorsement, because Chubby Checker is an old rock icon who probably doesn’t own a smart phone, much less would have an app or endorse one, and definitely wouldn’t endorse an app that was actually meant for checking chubbies.

The only people who would see possible confusion here are lawyers who would only claim its possible to get some billable hours and people who aren’t familiar with the app market and therefore wouldn’t be in danger of being confused because they aren’t a part of the market audience for the app.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Not a rock star

Please. He was certainly a rock star. Everyone knows who he is, after all. That his biggest hit was a cover doesn’t enter into it — it was still a monster hit (from 1958 to 2013, it was in the top 100 most popular songs of all time). He was also the one who popularized the Limbo among other things.

Interesting Chubby Checker quote, by the way:

…in a way, “The Twist” really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and “The Twist” just wiped it out.. It got so out of proportion. No one ever believes I have talent.

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