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