Did Warner Brothers Really Sue Over the Rights to the Term “Daisy Dukes”?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Warner Bros. sued a company over the rights to the term “Daisy Dukes.”

Catharine Bach’s character on the TV series, Dukes of Hazzard, is one of the unique fictional characters out there to actually have something named after them.

daisy_duke

In Bach’s case, the short denim shorts that she would often wear on the TV series have been now commonly referred to as “daisy dukes.”

While Warner Brothers, who owned the show, certainly enjoyed the fact that their character was becoming such a big part of American society that her name was becoming the name of a style of clothing, they did NOT like the fact that that ended up losing their rights to the trademark on the name!

That’s what happened when, in 2006, Warner Brothers attempted to sue a pornography site called DaisyDukes.com, citing the fact that the character’s name was a trademark of Warner Brothers.

Ultimately, when taken before the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP) panel, Warner Brothers lost the claim, under the theory that daisy dukes has now become a generic term to describe women wearing short denim shorts.

In the end, it really did not matter much, as “DaisyDuke.com” takes you to a web site for Warner Brothers’ new Dukes of Hazzard Direct-to-DVD movie of the “origin” of the Dukes of Hazzard, while “DaisyDukes.com” is not even still a web site anymore, but still, it’s interesting to note that daisy dukes has now officially joined the ranks of generic terms for items such as aspirin, cellophane and escalator, all of which were once registered trademarks and are now free to be used by anyone by being ruled as “generic” terms.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

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