When you’re a rock and roll legend, your brand is everything. And, when you have a clever stage name that can be twisted around to use as the witty title of an adult-centric smartphone app, well, matters can get a bit sticky.
This is the case for Ernest Evans, better known for the last 50 years as Chubby Checker. Of course, the two words that make up his stage moniker have double meanings, so a witty and enterprising app designer decided to leverage his famous identity as the name of an app that would help men, well, check their… chubby size.
The app works by using a guy’s shoe size to estimate the size of his manhood, though the scientific validity of the formula has not been confirmed. Checker discovered “The Chubby Checker” on the Hewlett-Packard (HP) WebOS store in 2012 and filed a trademark infringement lawsuit in 2013.
The biggest news about this lawsuit, though, is its magnitude. Checker’s legal team is seeking half a billion dollars from HP, contending that the penis-size app did not just infringe on his trademark, but also violated the Communications Decency Act (CDA). If the amount seems artificially enlarged, that’s because it is. The 99-cent app was downloaded less than 100 times before Checker’s lawyers sent a cease and desist letter. The creators of the app netted less than $30, according to estimates.
The CDA claim was tossed out in 2013, with the trademark violation suit was scheduled to go in front of a judge in October. But, in a twist, Checker has decided to settle the trademark infringement lawsuit. Settlement terms were not disclosed. The app creators have admitted no wrongdoing, but HP has agreed to stay away from any content that would use Checker’s intellectual property.