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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Naked Cowboy files lawsuit against soap opera

By Pankaj Ladhar of Manos • Alwine P.L.

The Naked Cowboy plays guitar and sings in Times Square. He wears only a hat, cowboy boots and briefs while he sings and plays. And files lawsuits.

In February 2011, the Naked Cowboy filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against CBS because the network allegedly used a likeness of him in a daytime television show. This is not the first lawsuit he has filed due to his trademark being allegedly infringed upon.

CBS televised the alleged likeness on its "The Bold and the Beautiful" soap opera. The character on the show played a guitar and wore only cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and briefs. The Naked Cowboy also objected to a clip from the show that CBS posted on Google Inc.'s YouTube video site. The character in "The Bold and the Beautiful" was used as an identifier in that clip.

The United States District Judge denied the Naked Cowboy's claim and said that "even an unsophisticated viewer" would not get CBS's version of the Naked Cowboy confused with the "real" Naked Cowboy. The court said that the Naked Cowboy's costume is distinctive. It has "Naked Cowboy" on the hat, briefs and guitar. The costume also has "Tips" and "$" on his boots. The character on the soap opera had none of this on his costume. The Judge also stated that even though the Naked Cowboy was on television numerous times, none of the appearances suggested that the Naked Cowboy wanted to transition into "creating and producing a daytime soap opera."

The Naked Cowboy has appeared on several television spots and music videos over the years. He even auditioned for American Idol in Season 1, but did not make it to the next round. He was also part of numerous advertising campaigns.

Source: Bloomberg, "CBS, Proview, Sony Vita, Premier League, Fairey: Intellectual Property," Victoria Slind-Flor, Feb 27, 2012


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