M&M's Maker Countersues Naked Cowboy

NYC tourist fave can't own topless look, company says
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2008 7:48 PM CDT

(Newser) – The maker of M&M's isn’t sitting still while the Naked Cowboy tries to serenade his way into its corporate pocketbook, the New York Post reports. Yesterday Mars Inc. fired a copyright-infringement suit at the musical cowpoke, a fixture at Times Square who had sued Mars, saying the company stole his look in an M&M's ad. But Mars says that’s like the Yankees claiming they have a monopoly on pinstripes.

He doesn’t own his “get-up,” Mars argues. Indeed, no one can have exclusive rights to “white cowboy hat, white boots, white underpants and an acoustic guitar.” The company also “denies” that the cowboy, Robert Burck, has a trademark on his “persona.”