ILNews

Larry Bird sues over use of name

Jennifer Nelson
January 1, 2008
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Former college and NBA basketball star and current president of basketball operations of the Indiana Pacers Larry Bird has filed a trademark infringement suit in federal court against the owners of his childhood home.

Bird filed the suit, Larry Bird v. Legend of French Lick LLC, No. 4:08-CV-0070-DFH-WGH, in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana, New Albany Division Monday against Georgianna Lincoln and Christopher Cooke, who purchased Bird's childhood home in French Lick from the Larry Joe Bird Revocable Living Trust.

The two marketed the property as a bed and breakfast, promoting the house as, "Legend of French Lick, the Former Home of Larry Bird Resort." The two also attempted to purchase memorabilia from Bird and wanted to use his name to identify the house; those requests were denied.

The lawsuit seeks to stop Lincoln and Cooke's unauthorized use of Bird's name in violation of federal trademark laws and state publicity laws. Bird has registered his name as a trademark with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the suit. The suit also seeks damages for the improper use of his name and for the impoundment and turnover of certain properties the defendants used improperly.

The suit alleges that Bird was unaware that Lincoln and Cooke planned on marketing the property as a bed and breakfast by using his name and the two lied when they said they were given oral permission to use the Bird's name in association with the property.

Six counts were filed in the federal suit - federal trademark infringement, federal trademark dilution, violation of Indiana's rights of publicity statute, violation of Bird's right to privacy, state law trademark infringement, and request for preliminary and permanent injunctive relief and impoundment. Bird demands a trial by jury of all the issues.
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  1. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  2. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  3. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  4. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  5. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

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