Chubby Checker sues Hewlett-Packard over app to measure penis size
Chubby Checker app has caused 'irreparable damage' to singer of same name, say lawyers
Sean Michaels; guardian.co.uk, Thursday 14 February 2013 05.21 EST
Rock'n'roll pioneer Chubby Checker is suing two computer companies for allowing his name to be used as the title of an app that guesses the size of a man's penis.
Checker's lawyers are seeking half a billion dollars for the "irreparable damage and harm" caused by the Chubby Checker, an app for Hewlett-Packard's Palm OS platform. "This lawsuit is about preserving the integrity and legacy of a man who has spent years working hard at his musical craft and has earned the position of one of the greatest musical entertainers of all time," explained lawyer Willie Gary.
The Chubby Checker was removed from all official Palm and Hewlett-Packard listings in September 2012, the companies told WebOSNation. But an old listing for the program lays out its raison d'être: "Any of you ladies out there just start seeing someone new and wondering what the size of there [sic] member is? … All you need to do is find out the man's shoe size and plug it in and … there is no need for disappointment or surprise." The developers, a defunct studio called Magic Apps, boast of the app's international appeal: the Chubby Checker accepts UK, US and European shoe sizes.
The real Chubby Checker, 71, was born with the name Ernest Evans. He trademarked his stage name in 1997. The singer's lawyers allege that the app will "blur and tarnish" this trademark, associating the Checker name with "obscene, sexual connotation and images". Furthermore, "purchasers of 'the Chubby Checker' app and non-purchasing browsers of the associated web page are being misled into believing that plaintiffs have endorsed defendant's app".
The creator of the Twist is demanding "all profits" amassed by the defendants in association with the Chubby Checker – an amount that somehow approaches $500m (£320m), according to his lawyers' press release. As noted in response by TCPalm, one software website shows that the $0.99 app has been downloaded just 84 times.
Checker, whose first No 1 was The Twist in 1960, had an unexpected comeback in 2008, reaching No 1 in the US dance charts with the song Knock Down the Walls. His shoe size is unknown.