FORT PIERCE, Fla. — Chubby Checker, the American singer and songwriter who popularized the twist dance style with his cover hit "The Twist," has sued Palm and its corporate parent Hewlett-Packard over "The Chubby Checker" app, which "enables women to estimate the size of a man's penis based on his shoe size."
Checker, whose real names is Ernest Evans, claims the companies violated his trademark by selling or giving away the app.
"The Chubby Checker" was designed for the Palm OS, and it apparently incorporated "chubby" because that the word is a slang term for penis.
Checker claimed "the defendants had full knowledge of the icon status of Chubby Checker when it began offering for sale and/or permitting free download of the app named The Chubby Checker."
He said that the app has been in the Palm App Catalog since October 2006.
The suit noted that Checker trademarked his name in 1997 and that the app associates him with "obscene, sexual connotation and images."
Checker also noted in the suit that "The Twist" is still the only single to have occupied the No. 1 position for a long spell (18 weeks in 1960), then fall off the charts and climb back to No. 1 again, in the fall of 1961. Checker has sold 250 million records worldwide.
According to the federal complaint, Checker has trademarks that cover musical recordings, other entertainment, hamburgers, lamp chops, veal chops, chicken, popcorn, candy, hot dogs, chocolate and spring water
Checker seeks an injunction and damages for trademark infringement, trademark dilution, unfair competition and publicity rights violations.
"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," said Willie Gary, Checker's attorney. "The defendants have marketed Chubby Checkers' name on their product to gain a profit and this just isn't right."