Evel Knievel not dead

But the Evel One‘s hopping mad and serving papers on Kanye West, the rapper. It sounds like something in the color of trademark dilution, i.e., tarnishment:

evelkkanye_westKnievel, who is seeking royalty payments and damages, claims he is most concerned with the video’s sexually charged content, which he says hurts his reputation as a role model for children.

“The guy just disgraced me. I have done the best I can to set an example for children, and then this guy comes along and tries to rip it apart,” said Knievel. “In my opinion, this video maybe reflects West and his way of life, but it’s sure not mine.”

We’ve been down this road — or perhaps over this canyon — before. The Smoking Gun, however (hat tip to pop culture wiz and Jersey City attorney David Krell), makes it a little more clear that part of Evel’s complaint is that West adopted the entire “Evel look,” to wit:

Evel Kanyevil

So is Evel onto something? Maybe yes. Maybe Kanye crossed the line this time. Wasn’t Aristotle writing about trademarks when he said, “No notice is taken of a little evil, but when it increases it strikes the eye”?


Tags: ,

Author:Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

5 Responses to “Evel Knievel not dead”

  1. December 14, 2006 at 9:23 pm #

    I love this part: “I have done the best I can to set an example for children…” Uh-huh. That’s why every one of his performances had to include, “Kids, don’t try this at home.”

    I also find this part interesting: “According to Knievel’s lawsuit, the former daredevil trademarked his name and image in 2001.” I’ll buy the idea that his image constitutes a trademark; but I wonder how far that goes. I was once engulfed in great heapings of debate whether “poses” could constitute a trademark; and if not, whether a license agreement could stipulate no use of particular “poses”. (Ever get involved in the Open Gaming License, Ron? That generated a huge morass of IP discussions and disputes.)

  2. Steve
    November 14, 2007 at 1:07 pm #

    Cases have been ruled in the plaintiff’s favor over trademark infringements of poses, Vanna White collected money from a company using her likeness and pose in a commercial. Evel,”I’m trying to be an example, be like me and be an f-ing idiot with terrible haircut and a hairy chest to catch my bagel’s crumbs so I can eat them later in the emergency room” At least Kanye crashed and didn’t disparage Evel by successfully clearing SRC.

  3. November 30, 2007 at 5:44 pm #

    Evil Knievel has died, it was just announced – RIP

  4. December 3, 2007 at 8:55 pm #

    Evil is descended from a long line of stunt men dating to the 15th century, so his claims may have some validity.
    Maybe Medieval Knievel also has the same claim?


  1. LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® » Blog Archive » Evel meets West - July 12, 2007

    […] Kanye West and Evel Knievel are going to mediation on this case.  News reports are describing this as all but a settlement, but that seems less likely to be based on an understanding of where the parties stand — going to mediation when you almost have a settlement without one, while not unheard of, is very uncommon — than on a misunderstanding of the civil litigation process.  They might settle at mediation; they might night.  We’ll jump that canyon when we come to it. […]