The Naked Cowboy has previously fought against rivals to protect his unique brand in New York. Now, however, he is facing a new menace: the Naked Cowgirl. It sounds like a struggle more befitting the Garden of Eden than Madison Square Garden but both naked cow people are pulling out their briefs.
John Robert Burck II, aka the Naked Cowboy, performs in Times Square, New York and even has his own official website. Burck has issued a cease-and-desist letter to Sandy Kane, a bikini-clad woman who calls herself “The Naked Cowgirl.” The letter warns that “[y]our use of Naked Cowgirl is essentially identical to the Naked Cowboy and is clearly in violation” of Burck’s trademark and demands that she sign a “Naked Cowboy Franchise Agreement.”
Burck sounds like a virtual naked robber baron: “If she’s going to sell stuff and make money off of it, then, yeah, she’s going to have to pay.” He is reportedly seeking as much as $150,000.
Sandra Brodsky, aka Sandy Kane aka The Naked Cowgirl, insists that she is just doing her “thang.” She notably does not appear in white underwear like Burck but is still viewed as stealing his shtick.
I have long criticized the scope of copyright and trademark rules in this country and this seems a prime example. It appears that combining “naked” and “cow” is now the property of Burck. The fact is that, when you are a naked cowboy, there is always going to be some young punk who comes to town to challenge you — claiming to be a little more naked or cowy. It is the law of the West . . . well at least the law of the West Side.
Source: New York Post.