Monday, August 19, 2013

In Legal 'Twist,' Federal Judge Keeps Chubby Checker Trademark Suit Alive

Chubby Checker
Cover of Chubby Checker
"Let's Twist Again," is the battle cry of 71-year-old Rock 'n Roll legend Chubby Checker after United States District Court for the Northern District of California Judge William H. Alsup last week ruled Checker (nee Ernest Evans) may pursue a $500 million trademark infringement claim against defendants Hewlett-Packard and Palm, Inc.

The case, Ernest Evans et al. v. Hewlett Packard Company & Palm, Inc. (Case No. 3:13-cv-02477-WHA), was brought in the San Francisco federal court in February 2013, by Checker over a smart phone app called Chubby Checker that purportedly enabled users to gauge a man's genital size based on his shoe size.

The South Carolina native best known for early '60s hits including The Twist, Pony Time and The Hucklebuck, sued out of concern his stage name would be forever-linked to obscene images, according to a New York Daily News article written last February. The defendants deny any involvement in the creation of the app allegedly developed by Magic Apps, but removed it from HP and Palm-hosted sites in September 2012.

The lawsuit claims the plaintiff received no compensation for the app's alleged unauthorized use of the Chubby Checker moniker and blames the defendants for allegedly endorsing the app and misleading consumers.  Both sides are actively engaged in settlement negotiations, according to a joint case management status report filed by the parties this month with the court.

The devoted staff of "TUOL" is tempted to exercise its puerile sense of humor by pointing out Checker's recordings include Limbo Rock, The Fly and Birdland, but instead, will just put on its Blue Suede Shows (size 18, app lovers) and walk away from the whole thing.
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