March 14, 2011 11:55am PT by Eriq Gardner
Naked Cowboy's Secret Deal With Naked Cowgirl Unwinds
Is the trademark battle between the Naked Cowboy and the Naked Cowgirl over? Maybe, maybe not.
Robert Burck, the scantily clad man who prances around in Times Square in New York with just a guitar and a cowboy hat, sued another woman last year for doing pretty much the same thing. The Naked Cowboy claimed in the lawsuit that the woman, Sandra Kane Brodsky, wouldn't pay a franchise fee on the trademarked character and threatened to devalue his lucrative licensing brand. At the time, Burck claimed he was a more recognizable icon than the Statue of Liberty.
Last week, the parties reached settlement but the deal might itself be naked. According to the stipulated agreement, the Cowgirl didn't have to pay the Cowboy anything, which caused the Cowgirl to brag to a local New York website. The Cowboy's lawyer now says the settlement agreement is invalidated because she violated the non-disclosure terms of the deal.
If Burck wanted to keep a lid on the free-pass, it could be because the entertainer is currently suing CBS and Bell-Phillip Television for $1.5 million for violating his trademark on its soap, Bold & the Beautiful. During an episode last November, the show featured a character dressing up in a costume that looked a lot like the Naked Cowboy.