Who cannot remember late the actor and comedian Christopher Farley who was known for his loud and energetic style. Farley is surely most recognized for his portrayal of character Matt Foley, the motivational speaker, on Saturday Night Live.
Today we find the Farley name in the news under in a legal battle. Make Him Smile Inc., a company that is owed by late actor’s brother and has legal rights to the Chris Farley name, filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court. The lawsuit is against the Waterloo, Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycles who are known for their manufacturing of lightweight and aerodynamic bikes.
The lawsuit involves a particular model named the Farley that’s in its “Fat Bikes” line. According to the lawsuit, the “Fat Bikes” have wider chassis and tires, and Farley was well-known to be heavy in weight.
However, a Trek representative noted that there are no ‘distinctive attributes’ of Chris Farley in the line.
The motion reads: “Plaintiff is unable to identify any such distinctive attribute that could support its claim. Plaintiff does not allege that Trek used the name “Chris Farley,” his likeness, or anything unique to his career. Plaintiff also does not allege that any attribute of Chris Farley appears on Trek’s bikes or in advertising in a manner that suggests Chris Farley’s endorsement. That explains why Plaintiff chose not to include any visual representations of Trek’s fat bike or promotional material in its complaint.”
The attorney for Make Him Smile Inc., Kirk Schenck, said “They chose the brand name ‘Farley’ to welcome and encourage potential customers and the bike industry generally to immediately associate Defendant Trek’s Fat Bikes with one of their favorite ‘fat’ and ‘loud’ comedians.”
In 2013, there were major issues with the “Fat Bike” and subsequently Trek recalled 2,600 bikes.  According to the lawsuit, this further devalues the late actor’s intellectual property.
Make Him Smile Inc. is seeking $10 million dollars in damages.
We will need to stay tuned to hear the verdict on this case.
That’s it for now. What are your thoughts on this? Join my conversation on my Facebook Law PageGoogle+ pageTwitter feed, or in one of my LinkedIn group discussions.

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