In a lawsuit filed last week, it's "The Duke" versus Duke.
The family of deceased film star John Wayne—who went by the nickname "The Duke" for much of his career—is suing the University for use of the name Duke to market bourbon and other alcoholic beverages.
The suit was filed July 3 in Orange County, where Wayne lived for years before passing away in 1979. It notes that the University has blocked John Wayne Enterprises' attempts to register the Duke name since 2005.
“While we admire and respect John Wayne’s contributions to American culture, we are also committed to protecting the integrity of Duke University’s trademarks," Michael Schoenfeld, vice president for government relations and public affairs, wrote in an email Wednesday. "As Mr. Wayne himself said, 'Words are what men live by… words they say and mean.’”
In their complaint, lawyers for John Wayne Enterprises suggest that the services offered by the University are significantly different from the alcoholic products that would be produced by the company. The two uses of "Duke" would not be confused, they argue... Read more