Back in February, a lawyer for famed “The Twist” singer Chubby Checker filed a lawsuit against HP. The lawsuit concerns a (now ancient, in tech terms) app that was released for the Palm OS in 2006. The app is accused of violating the “Chubby Checker” trademark, associating it with “obscene, sexual connotation and images.” The lawsuit claimed that the app damaged Checker’s reputation.
Titled “The Chubby Checker,” the app supposedly estimated penis length based on shoe size. The app was reportedly offered in the webOS catalog until September 2012 – well after HP had acquired Palm. Though it had been on offer for years, The Chubby Checker was downloaded less than 100 times.
When the lawsuit was filed, it was easy to dismiss it as frivolous and more about Chubby Checker PR than recompense for a cleverly-named joke app on a dead mobile OS. However, a U.S. District judge has now given the go-ahead for the lawsuit to proceed.
According to a Reuters report, the Northern California judge has ruled that Chubby Checker can sue HP for trademark infringement due to The Chubby Checker. This is despite arguments from HP’s legal team that neither HP nor Palm created the app, and that they have since removed it from all Palm and HP websites. The judge rejected those claims, finding that HP (Palm at the time) had an app approval process in place, and can thus be held responsible for any trademark violations.
(Image via Chubby Checker on Facebook)