A singer who hails from Queen Village is suing over a phone application that beared his name and estimated the size of male genitalia.
“The Chubby Checker,” a mobile application that claimed to be able to determine the measurement of any man’s package via his shoe size, has caused the man for which the app allegedly was named “irreparable injury,” according to a lawsuit filed in a Florida federal court Feb. 12.
Willie Gary, the attorney representing Ernest Evans, aka Chubby Checker, 71, of Conshohocken, is seeking $500,000 for his client, claiming the alleged intentional use of Evans’ name “with the obscene, sexual connotation and images evoked by [the] app … will diminish and destroy the positive associations the public has of the Chubby Checker name and mark,” according to the lawsuit.
Evans, a South Carolina native who grew up on the 500 block of Christian Street, is best known for his 1960 hit, “The Twist.” He recently released his latest single, “Changes” on the Teec Recording Co. label.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave Evans’ nickname copyrighted designations for live performances and appearances, as well as for recordings and memorabilia in 1998 and 2005, respectively. His Conshohocken-based, for-profit brands, Ernest Evans Corp. and The Last Twist Inc., which sells food, such as meats, popcorn, candy and spring water, received trademarks within the last decade.
The app became available in ’06, according to the lawsuit, which named Hewlett-Packard Co. and Palm Inc., a smart-phone company that Hewlett-Packard purchased in 2010 but whose products it discontinued a year later, as the defendants in the case.
“The application was not created by HP or Palm. It was removed in September 2012 and is no longer on any Palm- or HP-hosted website,” Michael Thacker, HP’s corporate media relations director, said in a statement on the laptop corporation’s compliance to a cease and desist letter Gary sent in September.
MagicApps created the app, but was not named in the lawsuit, which includes six counts: Federal and common law trademark infringement and unfair competition; federal trademark dilution; and unauthorized use of name or likeness. Checker is seeking compensation for damages, as well as triple the profits, which would equal about $250 since the 99-cents app sold 84 copies, according to the website that sold it.
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Though he came to fame by inciting national listeners to twist their hips in the 1960s, Chubby Checker began his musical odyssey a decade earlier by wielding his fingers as a piano student at Settlement Music School’s Mary Louise Curtis Branch, 416 Queen St.
Age doesn’t matter when it comes to doing the Twist as Chubby Checker — the originator of the 1960’s dance craze — observes a youngster he pulled from the Dilworth Plaza audience last Friday in celebration of the hit song’s 50th anniversary.