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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    JoeCool (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 2:28pm

    Initial response

    I'm sure the app's makers initial response was the same as mine: "What? He's still alive?"

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:04pm

    It might be an embarrassment if he checks out the app on his equipment.

    Heaven help if it won't measure up.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:09pm

    Maybe he was disappointed by his results.

     

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

  4.  
    icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:33pm

    That is a portfolio-quality headline if ever I saw one.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 3:55pm

    Guess they should have called it Fats Domino?

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Tim A, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 4:24pm

    "unfair competition"

    So size does matter.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Jul 25th, 2014 @ 5:50pm

    Chubby becomes his namesake...

     

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

  8.  
    icon
    DB (profile), Jul 25th, 2014 @ 9:58pm

    Somebody named themselves after a penis measuring app?

    I'm actually old enough to know of Chubby Checker. I didn't get the joke meaning of his name before, but now that's what will come to mind first.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    John85851 (profile), Jul 26th, 2014 @ 12:07pm

    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.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 26th, 2014 @ 1:20pm

    Re: The endorsement issue

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

    If that's the case, then it's good that they dropped the suit, because that's clearly a nonissue.

     

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

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 27th, 2014 @ 10:21am

    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.

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Roman, Jul 27th, 2014 @ 9:43pm

    Not a rock star

    Let's be clear about something here, Chubby Checker was not a rock star. Ever. He had one song, and that was a cover anyway.

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    DaveHowe (profile), Jul 28th, 2014 @ 6:56am

    Certainly sounds like

    This guy is a bit of a dick.

    If only there was some app you could use to determine just how big of a dick he rea.... oh, wait....

    :)

     

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

  14.  
    icon
    John Fenderson (profile), Jul 28th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    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.

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
Advertisement
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Techdirt Reading List
Advertisement
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Support Techdirt - Get Great Stuff!

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.