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CBS Wins ‘Naked’ Battle

A federal judge in New York has dismissed a trademark lawsuit brought against CBS by Robert Burck, the Times Square performer known as The Naked Cowboy, who plays guitar on the Manhattan street corners wearing just a cowboy hat and boots, and white briefs.

Back in 2010, there was a scene on THE BOLD & THE BEAUTIFUL where Zack Conroy‘s Oliver played guitar while wearing only a cowboy hat and briefs. CBS posted a clip on YouTube titled “The Bold and The Beautiful — Naked Cowboy” and purchased adword advertising using “naked cowboy” — all of which, Burck alleged, infringed on his trademarked brand and tarnished his image, “confusing” people who watched the soap. He demanded the show’s $1.5 million in ad revenue, but Judge Barbara Jones dismissed the case, saying that The Naked Cowboy’s trademark did not appear anywhere within the show itself, only on the YouTube title, deeming that a non-trademark use and that the phrase was used only to explain the content of the clip, not as a mark identifying the source of the video.

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