Duking it out

by Walter Olson on July 10, 2014

Duke University and the heirs of the late actor John Wayne have been fighting in court for nearly a decade over trademark/licensing rights to the word “Duke” [Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter]

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 gasman 07.10.14 at 3:54 pm

They are creating confusion with the word Duke.

John Wayne is and has always been The Duke, not merely Duke.
Same as Richard Petty is The King, not merely King. And, according to the movie Cars, Mrs Petty is Mrs. The King.

2 Jack Olson 07.11.14 at 8:59 am

Can’t understand why they are suing Duke University but didn’t sue Duke Ellington, the Duke of Kent, or the Duke of Earl. I suppose it’s a matter of going for the deep pockets.

3 Bill Poser 07.11.14 at 3:14 pm

The Wayne estate is suing Duke University because the university filed an objection to their proposed trademarks.

4 Hugo S. Cunningham 07.12.14 at 11:27 pm

@GM–
Maybe we always call him “*the* Duke,” but I doubt very much that anyone ever addressed him that way.

The Wayne estate should be able to trademark “Duke” liquor that has John Wayne’s image on it, while leaving the University the option to trademark “Duke” liquor with distinctive university logos or images.

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