While the Naked Cowboy's complaint is unlikely to result in any new trademark law developments, it, nevertheless, deserves its own unique place in history for alleging -- without any semblance of irony -- that "[t]he injury to Naked Cowboy is and continues to be irreparable."
NAKED COWBOY SUFFERS IRREPARABLE INJURY.Written by Francisco Ferreiro
Robert John Burck, better known as Time Square's "Naked Cowboy", has filed a federal trademark infringement suit against another New York City entertainer known as "Naked Cowgirl". Burck, who has registered the "Naked Cowboy" mark with the USPTO, has been serenading New York tourists while wearing only white briefs, cowboy boots, and a hat since 1997. According to Burck, the Naked Cowgirl -- whose act also, coincidentally, entails serenading tourists while wearing only her underwear, cowboy boots, and a hat -- is causing "confusion" and may "permanent[ly] devaluat[e] . . . a real American Brand and Icon."
The complaint, which inevitably led to multiple news stories making tongue-in-cheek references to trade "dress", legal "briefs", and "naked licensing," seeks unspecified damages and a court order blocking the Naked Cowgirl from, ostensibly, appearing in public as a semi-naked cowgirl. The Naked Cowgirl, for her part, has cited her First Amendment rights and countered that Burck does not have "a monopoly on scantily clad guitar-playing."