Yesterday, musician Chubby Checker, née Ernest Evans (the man loves his alliteration), filed a $500 million lawsuit against Hewlett-Packard and Palm over a Palm Pilot app that was downloaded a mere 84 times.
Because the Palm Pilot app store apparently sported an application known as the “Chubby Checker” that allowed inquiring minds the ability to figure out penis sizes based on shoe size.
This case shocked me: did you know Palm still had assets?
The offending application, developed by “Magic Apps” (I know you figured it was from Wang Laboratories) operated on the tried and completely untrue rule of thumb that shoe size has a correlation with penis size. According to its official description (riddled with grammatical errors):
Any of you ladies out there just start seeing someone new and wondering what the size of there member is. 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…
How did that sales pitch not entice more than 84 ladies? The screenshots tell us all about “Da Chubby” of an unfortunately equipped gentleman:
The metric conversion is a nice touch.
The 71-year-old singer learned of this egregious encroachment of his fake good name and decided it was time to take action. So Checker decided to cash in on that big pot of sweet, sweet Palm Pilot money:
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.
I wonder if those Sweatin’ To the Oldies royalty checks were starting to dry up over this whole affair.
Checker brought suit in the Southern District of Florida, because, of course it had to be Florida, alleging trademark, unfair competition, and unauthorized use of name or likeness claims. He’s basically arguing that the app traded, at least on some level, upon the public’s familiarity with the Chubby Checker persona. And apparently it did this to the tune of about $6 million per download.
Given that it’s no longer 2001, it doesn’t seem like Checker can reap all that much from this lawsuit, but then again the guy followed up his best hit, “The Twist,” with his second best hit, “Hey, Remember When I Sang ‘The Twist.’” So if there’s blood to be drawn from this stone, Chubby Checker is the guy to do it.
Chubby Checker Sues Two Companies For $500 Million Over Wang-Measuring App Downloaded 84 Times [TechDirt]
Chubby Checker Sues Hewlett Packard [The Guardian]
Earnest Evans v. HP [Complaint: U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida]