So there’s a couple of apps out there that’ll predict a guy’s penis size based on his shoe size. Yes, it’s that old (and questionable) wives’ tale now appearing on smartphones everywhere—God knows how many times you’ve been out and about and needed to estimate some guy’s penis size…
But one of the penis size apps involves Chubby Checker, and a lawsuit.
Haven’t heard of that app? But you’ve heard of Chubby Checker, right? Well, the music legend has been battling Hewlett-Packard (HP) and Palm over the use of his stage name—Chubby Checker (real name Ernest Evans)—a name which he just happens to have trademarked—for this app that “converts” shoe size to penis size. Yes, the app is called “The Chubby Checker”.
You can’t fault the real Checker for wanting zero connection to the app—not just because it’s probably one of the stupidest apps that’s ever been created (like, how long do you think anyone would use it? maybe 4-5 times max while slinging back some drinks at happy hour?), and not just because it’s a trademark infringement issue; but take a look at the app description:
FOR ENTERTAINMENT!!! Any of you ladies out there just start seeing someone new and wondering what the size of there member is. Well now you can right now from your phone. All you need to do is find out the man’s shoe size and plug it in and don’t worry where your from because The Chubby Checker supports shoe measurements of different regions and types. Now with The Chubby Checker there is no need for disappointment or surprise…
Who the heck wrote this? Yes, there are people out there that even spell-check cannot help. And here’s a screenshot of what you’ll get you once you “input” your man’s shoe size:
Verdict on the Chubby Checker app: Not So Sweet.
Given that The Chubby Checker app has only had 2,364 downloads—which is like less than the average graduating class size at many US universities—it’s not as though anyone’s really clamoring for ability to estimate penis size. A good thing for Checker.
Unfortunately, though, Checker had already sent a cease and desist letter to both HP and Palm that apparently went unanswered and certainly unheeded. So now he’s suing.
For those wondering about the other penis sizer app of note, it’s called The Predicktor (ha-ha get it?) and, rather than being targeted toward women, this one’s aimed at men—for those insecure moments when a guy wonders how he measures up. At least from a screenshot perspective, The Predicktor measures up better than The Chubby Checker:
Created by Canadian doc, Dr. Chris Culligan, the Predicktor claims to share “scientific journal articles reporting on men’s health and sexuality. This includes the actual distribution of penis size, as found in peer review journals. It also touches on selected literature studying what women really think about men’s genitalia—not the locker room giggles but actual results from surveys.”
Predicktor, which was “on sale” for 99¢ for Valentine’s Day, gauges the size of a man’s erect penis after the user enters his height, sexual orientation and finger length.
Maybe there’ll soon be an Estitmator app for guys wondering how endowed their gals really are…
You are so out of the loop if you don’t know Kevin Butler. But don’t feel bad—we took a completely non-scientific poll over on our Facebook page and found that no one we asked knows who the hell Kevin Butler is. Nor do they apparently care.
But Sony cared.
See, Kevin Butler is the fictitious character played by ad actor Jerry Lambert in Sony’s PlayStation commercials. Going out on a limb here, but guessing you don’t know who Jerry Lambert is either. Both Jerry and Kevin are pretty comical in the Sony commercials—but that’s neither here nor there.
Apparently, Sony thinks you know Jerry—or Kevin—and that you watch and internalize his every move. And so when Jerry went and did a commercial for Bridgestone earlier in 2012 in which a Nintendo Wii was offered as part of a promotion, and in which Jerry (not Kevin) happens to play on a Wii along with a cast of other Bridgestone “employees”, well…
You can imagine how the phones were ringing off the hook over at Sony with pissed-off consumers getting all confused at seeing Jerry play on a Wii when everyone knows his fake character, Kevin, endorses PlayStation. (That would be sarcasm for those who missed it).
In October 2012, Sony sued Jerry (they couldn’t quite sue a fictitious character, so Kevin was off the hook here) for violating the Lanham Act, misappropriation, breach of contract and tortious interference with a contractual relationship. The Lanham Act covers things like trademark infringement and trademark dilution as well as false advertising. Of course, by having a fictitious spokesperson be seen using two different video game systems, well, you can imagine the alleged damage done to PlayStation.
Regardless, Jerry (the real actor) did admit that his appearance in both company’s commercials with two different video game systems might confuse some folks. And so, the two—Jerry and Sony—settled (Bridgestone also took Jerry out of their ad).
According to the terms of the settlement as reported by Joystiq, Jerry Lambert has agreed to not appear in any advertisements that feature or mention “any other video game or computer entertainment system or video game company” for two years. Additionally, for another two years after that, he must notify Sony if he wants to appear in gaming ads so Sony can assess whether his intended performance will infringe on the Kevin Butler character.
So that’s who the heck Kevin Butler is. We’re glad the air’s been cleared as clearly a ton of folks—who didn’t even know who Kevin Butler was—were confused over which video gaming system he really preferred. Phew—disaster averted!
By the way, one astute fan of ours—named Jay (go Jay!)—did actually know that Kevin Butler was a placekicker for the University of Georgia. He went on to play in the NFL for the Bears and the Cardinals. We did not attempt to contact him for this story. Another fan, Sam, suggested that he might have been Rhett’s brother… Thanks to all who participated in our survey!
After being on the receiving end of some hard knocks (read: internal investigation re: dating younger staffer and having to step down from CEO prior to IPO as result), Gary Friedman and his former company, Restoration Hardware, have been told to knock it off with the knock-offs via a newly filed trademark infringement lawsuit. And no, we can’t possibly fit another “knock” into that sentence.
Here’s the thing. It’s no a-ha moment that Restoration Hardware (aka RH) along with just about every other mass market furniture retailer knocks off some original designs—typically with a tweak here and there and a downgrade on the materials and manufacturing—in order to sell “design” to the masses at a lower price. Those design modifications, however, are usually significant enough, even to the untrained eye, to establish the wannabe design as “reflective of” the original design without being an exact mirror image of it.
Enter Restoration Hardware’s Naval Chair. No, you can’t find it on their website at present because they’ve since renamed this chair the “Aluminum Standard Side Chair.” Regardless, that chair, according to the lawsuit, is strikingly similar in look to the one that the folks at Emeco originally designed for the US Navy. Heck, RH apparently didn’t even take too many strides to alter the name—”Navy” to “Naval”? Please.
For those of you who don’t follow “design”, here’s some background from Emeco’s website:
“Emeco was originally founded following a collaborative project with Alcoa to develop a seaworthy chair for submarines and warships. The Navy chairs are impervious to corrosion, non magnetic, lightweight and most importantly incredibly strong – attributes of aluminum that we have now grown to appreciate and love. By the end of the 1950’s Emeco aluminum chairs outfitted all famous U.S Navy Ships and submarines including the first nuclear submarine, Nautilus.”
No question, the Emeco Navy® Chair (note the registered trademark symbol) has been in continuous production and easily identifiable for quite some time.
The lawsuit was filed soon after RH’s IPO filing—tbd on what kind of impact it might have, if any. That, after highly mixed reviews following RH’s re-image a while back—comments like “trendy fake” on one forum come to mind. If you’re not familiar with the new look, two words sum it up: oversized and monotone. The pic at right is a personal fave—the light fixture—try having a conversation around that baby—where’s Seinfeld when you need him? It must appeal to someone, just hard to imagine whom—particularly when your flip through their baby room “showroom” online and find yourself immersed in a whir of endless beige and mushroom and envision a child welcomed into a world of blah.
And get this, they now have plans—according to the WSJ’s report on RH’s IPO—to go into apparel, accessories, footwear and jewelry. Anyone want to venture a guess as to what the palette will be? Someone get them a color wheel—stat!
In the meantime, we’ll have to see where this one nets out.
Pickles & ice cream? Maybe if you’re pregnant. Pickles & porn? Let’s hope not. Ben & Jerry’s & porn? Hell no says a recent trademark lawsuit filed by Ben & Jerry’s against porn film companies Rodax Distributors and Caballero Video of California.
Seems while Ben & Jerry’s has in the past churned up flavors such as Schweddy Balls and Karamel Sutra, it’s one thing to create a scoop or two of innuendo and brand it. It’s completely another to create porn that piggybacks on the same—or very similar—names.
What names you ask? Well, for starters, the porno flicks are distributed as “Ben & Cherry’s”. Each episode has a Ben & Jerryesque kind of name—here’s a few: Boston Cream Thigh, New York Fat & Chunky, Peanut Butter D-Cup.
But what catches your, uh, eye isn’t just the names—take a look at one of the Ben & Cherry’s DVD cases above. Looks familiar, no? That’s a pic of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream over on the right.
Is it any wonder Ben & Jerry’s sued for trademark infringement?
For now, a federal judge in Manhattan has ordered a block on Rodax Distributors and Caballero Video from producing and marketing its Ben & Cherry’s videos. According to an LA Times report today, the judge’s ruling requires the porn distributor to ” stop offering the 10 titles in its Ben & Cherry’s series in the interim and remove all online mention of the X-rated products”.
The company has to change its packaging, too. Surprise, surprise.
Been to Michael’s craft store lately? Origami is big. Forget paper airplanes—now kids come home from school with origami floral bouquets for mom and origami heteroptera (look it up). But for one artist—origami artist Robert Lang—origami isn’t some grab-some-copier-paper-and-get-folding thing; it’s serious art. And, he’s darn good at it. So good that folks know his work—and that can make any work that looks like his, even if it uses a different medium—look like copycat work. And that’s the crux of what’s becoming known as the origami lawsuit.
Origami artist Robert Lang has filed a lawsuit against abstract painter Sarah Morris alleging that she used his work—more specifically his crease patterns—in creating her own work. Without his permission.
For those you who are only novice origamists (is that even a word?), if that, a crease pattern is a computer-generated and quite complex pattern that an origami artist uses as a map of sorts to show where all the paper folds will need to go. Child’s play it is not.
According to a report at KPCC, Morris’ work veers more in the direction of graphic design, which is mathematical in nature; so Lang’s work, his crease patterns, caught her eye and intrigued her. And she “took a bunch of crease patterns, changed some lines, added colors to the shapes and turned them into very large paintings.”
Morris’ large paintings became a series that was shown entitled “Origami” in 2007. You can see some of that work at Live Auctioneers.
Needless to say, some of Lang’s admirers saw Morris’ work. And they felt a tinge of familiarity. And they let him know it.
You get where this is going: infringement lawsuit.
However, at the heart of this lawsuit will be the extent to which Morris’ work is considered transformative. As the report at KPCC notes, when it comes to art, an artist can use a copyrighted image if it satisfies the transformation ‘rule’—the work has to transform the copyrighted image into something new.
And “something new” is a bit of a vague notion—it’s fairly wide-open to interpretation. So we’ll see what happens.