Lemme tell ya one thang, Pilgrim – JOHN WAYNE's estate puts up their dukes in Federal Court over Duke University's attempt to shut down their "Duke" bourbon!
Duke University in North Carolina has been slugged with a lawsuit by John Wayne Enterprises that ridicules the "ludicrous" idea that consumers will be confused, The Hollywood Reporter revealed.
The new legal complaint tells the story of how Wayne, then Marion Robert Morrison and how he came to have the Duke moniker that stuck to him like Ol' Stumpy's mash.
Duke was the name of his dog 'n' folks used to call 'em "Big Duke and Lil' Duke".
Wayne later went to the USC on a football scholarship until he wiped out in a surfing accident. He then reckoned he'd give the moving pictures a whirl to pony up cash for his tuition. "The movie business — and the country — would never be the same," the lawsuit said.
But Duke University has been fighting with Wayne's heirs over "Duke" trademarks for nearly a decade.
The school last year stepped up the shootin' match after Wayne's family attempted to register "Duke" for all alcoholic beverages except beer.
The school told the Trademark Office, "Consistent with its policies and in order to prevent tarnishment of its brand, (Duke University) does not permit use of confusingly similar marks associated with unapproved goods or services, of uncertain quality and/or unregulated by (Duke University)."
Duke University, established in 1838, added that what the actor's heirs wanted to get their paws on a variety of food products and beverages.
John Wayne Enterprises is now going to federal court over Duke U's objection.
The school is charged with going too durn far.
"Duke University does not own the word 'Duke' in all contexts for all purposes," continues the new complaint. "Duke is a common word that has been in use for centuries in a wide array of commercial and other applications wholly independent of Duke University.
"JWE regards Duke University's apparent belief that the JWE Marks cause confusion and dilution as ludicrous."
Wayne's heirs are seeking a declaratory judgment that there is NO likelihood of confusion and that its attempts to register and use "Duke" alcohol will not dilute Duke University's own rights.
The Duke of Earl has chosen wisely to stay out of this heah slug fest.