Chubby Checker wins ok to sue HP over penis app

Chubby Checker Photo Credit: Randy Miramontez

Chubby Checker
Photo Credit: Randy Miramontez

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Chubby Checker has won the right to move forward with a lawsuit against HP and its Palm unit on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco ruled that Ernest Evans, better known as Chubby Checker, can move forward with a lawsuit he filed earlier this year for trademark infringement against HP.

In February of this year, Checker filed suit alleging that HP infringed on his trademark name “Chubby Checker,” with an app called “The Chubby Checker.”

“The Chubby Checker” app appeared on websites for Palm OS devices and touted that it “enables women to estimate the size of a man’s penis based on his shoe size.”

“The Twist” singer’s lawyers are seeking $500 million, claiming the app has done “irreparable damage” to his reputation.

According to HP, the company removed the offending app in September 2012 when they first received a complaint from Checker’s lawyers. The German firm behind the app, Magic Apps, is no longer selling the software.

Chubby Checker - Click for more images

Chubby Checker – Click for more images

“He’s hurt,” his lawyer Willie Gary told Associated Press back in February, “He worked hard to build his name and reputation over the years,” he continued, “We cannot sit idly and watch as technology giants, or anyone else, exploits the name or likeness of an innocent person with the goal of making millions of dollars.”

HP, in an effort to dismiss the claim, said that Checker failed to prove that HP knew of the infringement. However, the judge disagreed and said that Checker did prove that HP was aware of the app due to their detailed application and approval process for the app, and thus knew it violated the trademark.

In an article last year in the San Francisco Chronicle Checker was quoted as saying, “I have only one regret in my whole life, this is my greatest regret – that my music is not being played and more people aren’t seeing Chubby Checker. That’s very painful for me. Many nights I have tears in my eyes about that. While I’m praying to God and thanking him for all the good things, I ask, ‘Why don’t they play my music? Did I do something wrong? Is there something about it?’

Checker went on to say, “It’s not just any music – the No. 1 song in the world, the only song to be No. 1 twice – why don’t they play my music? It’s so painful. Why isn’t Chubby getting his music played like the rest of the white boys?”

It was over 50 years ago that “The Twist” hit No. 1 for the first time. Along with the song came Checkers signature style of dance called “The Twist.” According to Checker, his song and dance moves changed the way people danced forever.

Is he simply trying to protect his trademark, or could this be retribution for the many years of what he views as neglect?


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