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?).


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Akari Mizunashi (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 11:41am

    This is nuts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    Mark Harrill (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re:

    Really? you had to add one more pun to this? What are we going to do, erect a bunch of these puns until we are pitching a tent?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    What?

    C'mon... what else could you possibly call it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    justok (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re:

    It was just for play

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    vbdevil (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re:

    When the fruit is hung low, you gotta pick it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: What?

    I don't know.. how long is a piece of string
    and how trademarked

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: What?

    I don't know.. how long is a piece of string
    and how trademarked

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: What?

    I don't know.. how long is a piece of string
    and how trademarked

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    justok (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: What?

    Peter meter

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    justok (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    Re: Re: What?

    Wow, 3 times in a row. Your partner must be happy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    Well yeah

    if you associated a penis and a song about a dance in which you twist into knots, you're a masochist and an idiot

    But is the masochistic idiot in a hurry?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: What?

    Mr. Meter might get upset with that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    If Mr Checker was cool

    He would have endorsed the app with two thumbs up and seen a huge surge in his sales on iTunes. Or maybe they would have digitized his albums and started selling them on Amazon.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    ShellMG, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:24pm

    The title had me curious as to what Checker had to do with an old word processing system.

    Who knew? I sure didn't.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Jeremy Lyman (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:25pm

    Re: If Mr Checker was cool

    Whoops, that's my bad, he's on Amazon, I just don't know how to spell his name.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Oblate (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: If Mr Checker was cool

    Next time use a Chubby Spellchecker.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    Wow Might as well sue stoners for say let's do the twist.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    slopoke, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Oblate (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    Re:

    This is just a bit above nuts. This is one Chubby whose stature would have been improved by a bit of circumspection. Instead, he got a big rise from this Palm app. But when the cold wind of reason hits, hopefully this will all shrivel up to nothing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    Wow this really is happening?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    I do not believe this lawsuit is the correct "tool" for reviving the Chubster.
    Whats more, the app is no way even close to accurate.
    Maybe that's what they mean by egregious.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:53pm

    Cancel my subscription

    This article is the kind of thing I expect to find written on men's room walls of Chicago bars, not here on Techdirt. Please cancel my subscription.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Cancel my subscription

    Please return unused portion for full refund.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
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    Baldaur Regis (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 12:59pm

    Re: Cancel my subscription

    You have to send your cancellation notice on the digital insert we send you with every click-issue. Also, cancellation requires 30 days notice of your subscription. Please mail the insert to 6669 W. Nobody Cares Dr., Prudeville, USA 66666....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Jasmine Charter, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

    Chubby Checker... Meet...

    Chubby Checker and your 84 downloads... meet the Streisand effect!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Cancel my subscription

    So you go around to Chicago bars expecting to find lewd comments and diagrams in the restrooms. Now who's the sick-o?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:16pm

    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."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

    Re:

    Chubby is just being a dick...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Mr. Applegate, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    All publicity is good publicity!

    or: All Chubbys are good Chubbys!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
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    Deimal (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

    Measuring...

    your penis with a app on a device called Palm? Since when did anyone need to pay anything to use their Palm on their penis? What makes Chubby think checking your penis with your palm is something that he should be paid for? Usually the payment goes the other way.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    How many of you know of him doing the Stoned in the Bathroom Song which was recorded with a hippie band backing him.

    Sounds like he has been in that Bathroom trying to get an erection out of his now limp dick.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Cancel my subscription

    I believe you should give proper attribution to the comment that you replied to and received an LOL recognition as a result. As soon as I set up a few dozen twitter accounts I'll be pressing you on this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 2:49pm

    Well, im more amused that his name is Earnest Evans. There was a good game for the old Mega Drive called Earnest Evans.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earnest_Evans

    Maybe he should go after Sega and Namco too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re: Cancel my subscription

    I think the digital insert got thrown in the bit bucket. Either that or my Nintendog ate it. Can you please send another one?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    Calvin (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 4:07pm

    Re: What?

    Perhaps 'Eternal Optimist' or 'Wishful Thinking'

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 4:40pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    Re: Willie Gary: Just Another Clueless Knob

    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 6:30pm

    ATTENTION KEYBOARD WARRIORS!!

    An important announcement from the Internet Defense Headquarters:

    THE INTERNET IS UNDER ATTACK!

    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!

    AS OF THIS POST, WE AT INTERNET DEFENSE HQ ARE INVOKING THE STREISAND PROTOCOL. PROTOCOL WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL SUBJECT HAS RESCINDED THREAT OR HAS EXPIRED.

    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.

    REMEMBER WARRIORS, YOU ARE THE LAST LINE OF DEFENSE FOR THE INTERNET'S SURVIVAL!

    May the lolcats be with you.

    -the Internet Zen Master

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    technomage (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

    if this is the same app I saw in the news elsewhere, it was supposed to be a link between a shoe size and ding-a-lings

    maybe CC is embarassed about only having about having a size 4...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 6:53pm

    Damn this story just keeps getting bigger and bigger. I wonder how long it will last.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2013 @ 7:42pm

    Re:

    At some point it'll have to blow and release everything cramped inside.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Is this one of those moments when one of those weird EU laws about a right to be forgotten would be useful for Mr. Checker?

    Pretty sure he damaged his reputation much more by what is obviously a ploy to remind the world he still exists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 9:18pm

    Re: Re:

    This is one Chubby whose stature would have been improved by a bit of circumspection.

    I disagree completely. Why, if I had a son, I would never let anyone -

    ...oh, "circumspection." Never mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Feb 14th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Though, come to think of it, maybe if someone had given this Chubby a circumspection, he'd be a lot less sensitive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Feb 15th, 2013 @ 1:59am

    No shit, the internet morons decided to leave their closets this month? I started counting puns and jokes per comment instead of per article.

    Tim, grab your Chubby Checker, your article caused so many puns that I think your e-penis got bigger ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:01am

    Damn, if only I was doing the sort of thing we do in our downtime -- running a Twitter search for the term "infringement."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:10am

    I always wondered what my opinion of Chubby Checker was worth. Now I know. It's 5.92 million.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:10am

    I always wondered what my opinion of Chubby Checker was worth. Now I know. It's 5.92 million.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:23am

    They've got a lot of balls

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
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    richard (profile), Feb 15th, 2013 @ 5:32am

    Damn now i wish i had gotten this app, I guess i will have to do it the hard way and go find my tape measure.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 6:03am

    Major boner.

    Chubby and Willie pulled a real boner by filing this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 6:10am

    Re: Cancel my subscription

    Why do you subscribe to men's room walls? Is Fox News not available in your area?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    icon
    Marcel de Jong (profile), Feb 15th, 2013 @ 7:32am

    Re: Re:

    Don't get all hairy about it. Chubby Checker is balls deep in trouble.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 9:04am

    Where's the embedded Viagra ad? It'd be a nice fit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    icon
    Internet Zen Master (profile), Feb 15th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    *sigh*

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Dave, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 11:22am

    What's his position on this?

    "The Twist" and "Let's Twist again" must be some new positions that I haven't heard of.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
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    Glaze (profile), Feb 15th, 2013 @ 12:38pm

    Goodness Gracious...

    At least it wasn't jerry lee lewis suing them or there'd be great balls of fire flying all around.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

    Re: Willie Gary: Just Another Clueless Noob

    Yeah, that will work. LOL!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

    Re:

    So that's what the kids are calling it these days, huh?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    Re: *sigh*

    Maybe he just felt like whipping out his trademark and playing with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: *sigh*

    At his age, he probably just wanted to see if it still worked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 2:53pm

    I didn't even realize that Wang is still in the computer business.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2013 @ 5:35pm

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 16th, 2013 @ 1:53am

    His lawyer, Willie, who practices with a "hands-on" approach, purportedly ejaculated "This will peter out"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    identicon
    Darfvader, Sep 6th, 2013 @ 10:37pm

    Re: This is nuts

    This subject is actually CLOSE to a SET of Nuts O_O

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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