Chubby Checker Settles Penis Measuring Lawsuit

Chubby Checker Settles Penis Measuring Lawsuit

Hewlett-Packard has agreed not to use the singer's stage name, related trademarks or likeness on its products.

When Chubby Checker noticed that some unkind person had lent his name to a penis-checking Palm OS app, he took action, and launched a half-billion dollar quest for damages against Hewlett Packard and Palm. Hewlett-Packard has reached an agreement with the singer, and settled the suit for an undisclosed sum. As part of the deal, HP agrees not to use the singer's stage name, related trademarks or likeness on its products. All this, mark you, for an app that was downloaded just 84 times before it was pulled from the store, earning perhaps $260 total.

In an unusual twist, Checker - real name Ernest Evans - decided to sue, not the makers of the app, but the makers of the platform. A California Judge agreed with Evans, insofar as - according to the judge - HP ought to have rooted out possible infringement in its review process before the app went live. However Evans' claims of unfair competition and right of publicity under state law were dismissed, as online service providers cannot be held responsible for the content third parties publish on them.

The app claimed to be able to estimate a man's penis size based on the size of his foot. It was pulled from the catalog in 2012 after a cease and desist from Checker's lawyers. "The defendants have marketed Chubby Checkers' name on their product to gain a profit," said Evans' lawyer at the time, "And this just isn't right."

The half-billion was intended to compensate Evans for what his lawyer described as "irreparable damage and harm" but it seems unlikely that the settlement, whatever it may have been, yielded anything like that amount. Neither side has accepted liability.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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Suing culture....it really is toxic isn't it?

Maybe they did infringe his brand, but wise up, how can you possibly justify a 500 million lawsuit?

Does anyone care about the lawsuit? No. But there are bunch of people here on the old side of 30 aghast at the "Who is Chubby Checker?" statements. Damn getting old!

sir neillios:
Suing culture....it really is toxic isn't it?

Maybe they did infringe his brand, but wise up, how can you possibly justify a 500 million lawsuit?

IP rights are more nebulous than most other causes of action, and punitive damages can be any amount meant to dissuade future bad acts.

Now, I'm not going to claim that the litigation culture in the US is toxic, mainly because that's how I make my income, but it is a side-effect of the US's profit-at-any-cost business culture. Until you fix the latter, you're never going to fix the former.

Nuxxy:
Does anyone care about the lawsuit? No. But there are bunch of people here on the old side of 30 aghast at the "Who is Chubby Checker?" statements. Damn getting old!

Do I care about the issue being squabbled over? Not really. But it had the potential to be an interesting precedent: If this had been settled it court (The article implies the settlement was out of court) in Checker's favor it would have meant that companies were then responsible for any copyright violations present in a store they curate, and that could have had huge ramifications.

The Gentleman:

sir neillios:
Suing culture....it really is toxic isn't it?

Maybe they did infringe his brand, but wise up, how can you possibly justify a 500 million lawsuit?

IP rights are more nebulous than most other causes of action, and punitive damages can be any amount meant to dissuade future bad acts.

Now, I'm not going to claim that the litigation culture in the US is toxic, mainly because that's how I make my income, but it is a side-effect of the US's profit-at-any-cost business culture. Until you fix the latter, you're never going to fix the former.

Humour me, I've no background in law besides a few John Grisham novels. So is the suing amount irrelevant? Is it all down to what the Judge awards? As to the other, it's probably better that we don't get into a discussion about it.

I'd be delighted if people were using my name to measure there johnsons!

Okay... Why name the app after him? Is he renown for having a particularly small/large wang or something?

Nuxxy:
Does anyone care about the lawsuit? No. But there are bunch of people here on the old side of 30 aghast at the "Who is Chubby Checker?" statements. Damn getting old!

Right there with you. Feelin' SO old right now.

We should've stopped having kids after our generation.

J Tyran:
Okay... Why name the app after him? Is he renown for having a particularly small/large wang or something?

Seeing as "chubby" is also a euphemism for "penis", this app is made to "check your chubby". They'd probably never even heard of the guy; I know I hadn't until I read this article.

DataSnake:

J Tyran:
Okay... Why name the app after him? Is he renown for having a particularly small/large wang or something?

Seeing as "chubby" is also a euphemism for "penis", this app is made to "check your chubby". They'd probably never even heard of the guy; I know I hadn't until I read this article.

^I'm with him, never heard of the guy till I read this article today. Chubby Checker sounds like a reasonable name for an app about measuring your...thing since like he said chubby is another name for it.

So this was a literally meant headline? I did not expect that.

sir neillios:
Humour me, I've no background in law besides a few John Grisham novels. So is the suing amount irrelevant? Is it all down to what the Judge awards? As to the other, it's probably better that we don't get into a discussion about it.

It depends.

More often than not, no, mainly because the parties will reach a settlement before a verdict. This is generally in the interest of both parties as it cuts down on litigation costs and places control of the outcome in the parties' hands rather than in the court/jury's. Absent serious abnormalities or conflicts of interest, the court will allow the settlement as the dockets (schedules) tend to be overstuffed anyways.

But every once and a while a trial goes to the jury verdict and the plea for damages is where that tends to start. If it's just special (i.e. quantifiable via receipts such as repair bills or medical expenses), then the jury (which determines the size of a damage reward) is going to put forth their findings through that addition/subtraction/multiplication process (damages are sometimes reduced based on plaintiff culpability). Where the big damages tend to come into play is with punitive damages, and deep pockets can mean big damage rewards in some jurisdictions, as many have the rule that it only needs to be as large as needed to dissuade future bad behavior. The rather infamous McDonald's Coffee Case is considered the textbook case on punitive damages (the backlash against it also shocked the legal community, as there really wasn't anything particularly odd about the award).

I think it might be time to remove everyone's right to sue. Just replace it with a system to request a formal inquiry by a government body, and then they can see if the lawsuit should go through the courts as an official grievance.

 

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