Weinstein Co. Sued Over Use of Iconic Phrase
Written by Sena Tokel, Student from Southampton Solent University on 21 March 2019« Return to Reading Room
Horse-racing announcer Dave Johnson filed a lawsuit on Wednesday seeking unspecified damages against the makers of Bill Murray’s 2014 film, “St Vincent” with claims Weinstein Co. infringed the use of his signature trademarked phrase “and down the stretch they come.”
The iconic phrase dates back to the 1960’s which began while calling racing in Illinois and has since been used in numerous Triple Crown races throughout the decades. The phrase became so popular that in 2012, Johnson registered it as trademark.
The 56- page lawsuit filed in New York sees the famous announcer taking issue with the use of the phrase by actor Bill Murray who plays a retired alcoholic that regularly gambles on horse racing. The suit states Murray’s use of the phrase is “used in a manner essentially identical to Dave Johnson’s mark” and alleges the film “infringes, damages, tarnishes and dilutes the mark and the rights and reputation of the mark’s creator and owner, Dave Johnson”.
Johnson claims filmmakers of 'St Vincent' which grossed $45million, did not seek permission to use his trademarked line and the use of it is likely to confuse the public and tarnish his rights to the iconic phrase.
The suit references other trademarks signature sports phrases such as Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get read to rumble!”
Following the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal, Lantern Entertainment acquired Weinstein Co. in a bankruptcy sale and is named as one of the defendants in the case.
The defendants are yet to comment.
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