The Strange Case of Chubby Checker vs. Chubby Checker

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Chubby Checker: Let’s sue again, like we did last summer

Chubby Checker, the 71-year-old music legend known for “The Twist” and its many sequels, is back in the news for the most unlikely of reasons: He’s suing one of the biggest companies in consumer technology, over a “penis-measuring app” known as the “Chubby Checker.”  

According to a statement issued by Checker’s attorney, Checker has filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Hewlett Packard and its subsidiary Palm, Inc., for “the irreparable damage and harm that Hewlett Packard’s bad business dealings caused Chubby Checker and his company.” The suit claims the tech giant did not have permission to use the singer’s name.

The website House of Palm lists the Chubby Checker app as having launched in 2010, and costing 99 cents. According to a typo-laden description:

Any of you ladies out there just start seeing someone new and wondering what the size of there member is. All you need to do is find out the man’s shoe size and plug it in and don’t worry where your from because The Chubby Checker supports shoe measurements of different regions and types. Now with The Chubby Checker there is no need for disappointment or surprise…

The story is strange not only because a pioneer of American rock ‘n’ roll is suing over a penis-measuring app. Palm is now almost completely defunct, and the devices that ran its webOS software, such as the Palm Pre smartphone and HP TouchPad tablet, were discontinued nearly two years ago. It’s unknown how many people- if any- ever downloaded the offending app.

HP announced this week, in fact, that it will make Android-based tablets, presumably none of which will feature any penis-measuring applications named after Chubby Checker, Fats Domino, Little Richard, Stevie Wonder or any other legends of American music.

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