In the late 1950s, a young singer called Ernest Evans began going by the name of Chubby Checker, a handle bestowed in part by Dick Clark’s wife (seriously!). Because it was a less vulgar time, nobody thought to warn young Chubby that his new moniker was just begging to be used as a lame double entendre (example: “Chubby Checker? I barely know ‘er!”).
But 60-odd years later, times have most definitely changed. Celebrities show off their female breast nipples all willy-nilly, despite strict orders from the suits at CBS. Nobody really gives a f— when somebody drops an f-bomb on national TV during the year’s most-watched program. And not too long ago, some jokester thought it’d be funny to make an app called “The Chubby Checker,” which promises to predict the size of a man’s Sammy Davis Jr. based on what size shoe he wears.
Naturally, Checker wasn’t pleased when he found out about the app’s existence — and now he’s filing a $500,000,000 trademark infringement lawsuit against Hewlett Packard due to the “irreparable damage and harm” caused by this goofy little novelty.
The twist: The app was removed from all Palm and HP-hosted web sites in September 2012, and the operating system that runs it was discontinued even before then in August 2011. So Checker is asking for half a billion dollars on account of something that cost $.99, was downloaded a grand total of 84 times, and would have faded away quietly and completely if not for this headline-grabbing lawsuit. Bad move, Chubs; you’ll never get kinged if this is the way you play.