In a legal twist, aging icon Chubby Checker is suing Hewlett-Packard over a penis-measuring app.
The app, cleverly called "The Chubby Checker," purportedly allows individuals to estimate the length of a man's penis based on shoe size.
But Chubby Checker, whose real name is Ernest Evans, is not happy that his name was associated with the manhood-measuring app, reports the New York Daily News. In his lawsuit, the 71-year-old singer-songwriter is seeking half a billion dollars from the tech company.
Checker says he fears that his name will be associated with obscene and sexual images, the Daily News reports. What's more, he asserts he received no compensation for the unauthorized use of his name and trademark on the app.
The app was developed by Magic Apps for Hewlett-Packard's short run into tablets and smartphones. It was reportedly only downloaded 84 times before it was taken down.
But despite the small number of people who downloaded the app, Checker claims that his name is now smeared as people will be misled into believing that he endorsed the product.
Generally speaking, all people -- not just celebrities -- have a right over the use of their name and likeness for commercial purposes. This is a part of your privacy rights and rights to publicity. So a business cannot just snap your picture and use your name and face to plug a commercial product, regardless of whether or not you were previously famous.
In addition, if you trademark a name or persona, you also have rights under intellectual property laws. A trademark can be a name that you have used commercially and which identifies your brand. You may not even need to register the trademark to receive protection.
Chubby Checker has rights to his name and also over his trademark. If his lawsuit over the penis-measuring app proceeds, it may soon be up to a court to determine if his rights were violated, and if that violation measured up to half a billion dollars in damage.