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November 28, 2007

Trademarking: Knievel vs Kanyevel

West_Knievel.gif Looks like Kanye West and Evel Knievel have settled their differences over West's use of Knievel's likeness and name in his video where the rapper appeared as Evel Kanyevel and re-enacted Knievel's ill fated attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon.

It is good to hear that the lawsuit Knievel launched last year has been settled "amicably," not least because the 69-year old Knievel referred to West's music in the press as "filth." It does go to show that if two people can sit down in a room and hash things out, great divides in brand naming might be resolved.

West's attorneys argued that he was protected under the first amendment because the video could be construed as "satire," which is an interesting means of defending what looked like a trademark violation.

It seems almost certain that if Knievel wanted to stick to his guns he'd have a case, not least because the video seems to damage Knievel's reputation and infringe on his trademark.

Officially, the lawsuit went into mediation, which probably means that Kanye wrote Knievel a check behind closed doors which prompted the legendary stuntman to say West was a "wonderful guy and quite a gentleman."

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Posted by William Lozito at November 28, 2007 8:10 AM
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