- On anniversary of Michael’s death, Joe Jackson will file wrongful death lawsuit against Dr. Conrad Murray.
- Judge orders Lindsay Lohan to appear in court to talk about her involvement in a 2007 car crash — of course, after her probation hearing.
- Mel Gibson files restraining order against his ex-girlfriend.
- Another “he-said, she said:” Newly revealed police reports show Mets pitcher Johan Santana denied rape accusations last October.
- Tony Hawk sues Prime Entertainment for royalties from sales of helmet cam.
- False alarm: paternity test shows Tiger Woods did not father porn star Devon James’ child.
- Joan Rivers sued by former manager for defamation in recent film, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.”
- Mariah Carey’s veterinarian sues for $30,000 still owed by the singer for dog care.
- Nas owes ex-wife Kelis $300,000 in alimony and mortgage payments.
- Will.i.am’s Bentley burglarized in Hollywood Hills.
- UFC fighter Chuck Liddell sues clothing company for using his image without consent.
Times Square’s affable “Naked Cowboy” seems to take only one thing seriously– his image. When Mars Inc. created an blue M&M in his likeness and used it in a video billboard in 2008, Robert Burck, 39, struck back with a multi-million dollar lawsuit, which ended in an undisclosed settlement (reportedly $4 Million).
Now, Burck has his tighty-whiteys in a bunch over another possible trademark infringement by 37-year-old Sandy Kane, a New York comedy circuit regular who has been performing as the unofficial Naked Cowgirl in Times Square for the last two years. Burck has asked her to sign a franchise agreement six times, but Kane has always ignored his requests. Though the two naked cowpeople once talked about doing a duet together, their working relationship finally went south—to Nashville—where Kane recently recorded a song for EMI Music called “He Taught Me How to Love” (more examples of Kane’s musical talent here).
The fact that Kane is claiming Burck is involved with the song is the last straw, according to Burck’s manager, Todd Rubenstein. “She claimed it features The Naked Cowboy. This is completely bogus and an unauthorized use of the registered ‘Naked Cowboy’ trademark,” he said. While a homemade CD label contains the phrase “featuring the Naked Cowboy,” the Nashville studio where Kane recorded the song, Omni Sound Studios, confirmed that she recorded the song under her own name. “She just booked us. I mean, it’s Sandy Kane. That’s how she did everything—under her name,” said owner Steve Tveit. Though a representative from EMI confirmed that Kane has indeed recorded a song, it is unclear how she is associating the song with Burck.
USLAW.COM ANALYSIS: Burck is prudent to actively maintain the integrity of his trademark. Under US law, if a trademark is licensed without adequate quality control or supervision, that trademark can be cancelled if it’s deemed to no longer serve the purpose of identifying a distinct brand and/or otherwise becomes “generic”. In fact, Rubenstein also explained that there were three official Naked Cowboy franchises, but only one still exists—the younger, official Naked Cowgirl, Louisa Holmlund, who also performs in Times Square.
Burck sent Kane a cease-and-desist letter, insisting that she pay his franchising fee (usually $500 per month or $5000 per year), under threat of a $150,000 lawsuit. Scott Rothman of Halberstadt Curley, the attorney representing Burke in his 2008 case, says that he has not been retained for this potential particular case.
Kane, a former stripper, shows no signs of budging, as she told news sources: “You know how much money I make? Two dollars a picture. I’m not selling any products!”1f53
- Mel Gibson and soon-to-be-ex-wife sued by Malibu construction company for not paying the bills.
- Former Giants star Lawrence Taylor indicted for upstate New York rape (indictment).
- Stalker of Law and Order’s Katherine Erbe faces federal charges for inter-state stalking.
- Mexico begins extradition “Survivor” producer accused of murdering wife (Bruce Beresford-Redman).
- Nicole Richie’s probation extended one year for incomplete alcohol education classes.
- Jay-Z owes $137,000 for private jet use, is sued by airline company.
- Rapper Lil Boosie is indicted on first degree murder charges.
- New documents reveal Gary Coleman filed a restraining order against ex-wife Shannon Price months before his death.
- Michael Jackson’s bodyguard drops libel charges against Britain’s Channel 4.
- Rapper Lil Wayne changes plea to guilty in Arizona felony charges involving drugs and weapons.
- Times Square’s Naked Cowboy seeks franchise fee from Naked Cowgirl.