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Naked Cowboy v. CBS

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
844 F. Supp. 2d 510 (2010)


The plaintiff was a well-known street performer in Times Square. He wore only briefs, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and his guitar. His performing name, which was also well-known, was the Naked Cowboy. He owned a trademark for “Naked Cowboy.” In an episode of The Bold and the Beautiful on CBS (defendant), a character sang for several seconds wearing only briefs, cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, and his guitar. The term “naked cowboy” did not appear on screen and was not spoken by any characters. CBS posted the clip from the episode on its YouTube channel. CBS titled the clip “The Bold and the Beautiful—Naked Cowboy.” CBS bought advertising from YouTube that gave the clip “featured video” status if a user searched for “naked cowboy.” Further, the clip was tagged with the words “naked” and “cowboy.” The plaintiff sued CBS for trademark infringement. CBS filed a motion to dismiss.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Jones, J.)

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