Big Swingin' App
Want to read a book? There’s an app for that. Check your heart rate? There’s an app for that too. How about a guestimate of the size of your penis based on your shoe size? Well, there was an app for that—that HP and Palm Inc. advertised and promoted in an alleged “lascivious” manner, for years before taking it down from their app platform late in 2012. The app was called the “Chubby Checker,” and the 60’s music legend of the same stage name--his real name is Ernest Evans--is suing the pants off of HP and Palm for their role in disseminating the app. Evans is claiming trademark infringement and damage to reputation and he wants a whopping $500 million for the “irreparable harm” the eponymously-named app caused him. It’s doubtful that he’ll get anything near that amount, but a California federal judge ruled last week his suit could move forward. The defendants tried to get it tossed, claiming they were “innocent publishers” who initially knew nothing about Evans’ trademarks to the Chubby Checker name. The judge didn’t buy it, saying that Evans (and several firms that share trademark rights with him to the stage name) made claims that are valid enough to infer that “defendants knew or could have reasonably deduced” that trademarks to the name were taken. HP and Palm said the damage couldn’t be that great as only 88 downloads occurred in the several years that the app was made available. Somebody check Anthony Weiner’s phone quick.