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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 22, 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 8
C'mon, baby ... Chubby Checker sues HP over risqué smartphone app
Section One
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C'mon, baby ... Chubby Checker sues HP over risqué smartphone app

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Sixties icon Chubby Checker, who celebrated the 50th anniversary of his signature song 'The Twist' in 2010, is suing Hewlett Packard over a smartphone app bearing his name.

HP's 'Chubby Checker' app was designed to guess a person's penis size based on their shoe size. Checker's lawyers filed a 'cease and desist' order against HP and its subsidiary Palm OS shortly after the app became available in September 2012.

HP claims it removed the app immediately upon receiving the order, but Checker's lawyers filed a trademark infringement action against HP and Palm on February 15.

SINGER FEELS EXPLOITED
'He's hurt,' Checker's attorney, Willie Gary, told the Associated Press. 'He worked hard to build his name and reputation over the years. We cannot sit idly and watch as technology giants, or anyone else, exploits the name or likeness of an innocent person with the goal of making millions of dollars.'

The app used his client's name and trademark without permission, Gary added.

Lawyers acting for the singer are seeking $500 million (£323 million) in compensation, saying the app has done 'irreparable damage' to his reputation.

In a statement, an HP spokesman said, 'The application was removed in September 2012 and is no longer on any Palm or HP-hosted website.'

The German company that designed the original program, Magic Apps, is no longer selling the software.

APP NOT A CHART-TOPPER
It is not clear how many copies of the app were sold, but WebOSNation, which monitors the use of Palm smartphones, estimates it was downloaded only 84 times before it was pulled.

Chubby Checker was born Ernest Evans in 1941. 'The Twist' hit the top of the charts in 1960 and again in 1962, but by the '70s Checker was relegated to the oldies circuit. Nevertheless, in 2008, Billboard magazine named 'The Twist' the biggest hit of all time.

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