Was "git-r-done" a popular Southern saying before Larry the Cable Guy made it his catch phrase? Has a Diamondhead store's use of the phrase and its merchandise hurt the blue-collar comedian's merchandising business?
Those are questions GiterDone C Store on Yacht Club Drive wants a jury to decide, according to its counter claim in a lawsuit filed by Git-R-Done Productions Inc.
Git-R-Done Productions sued the convenience store and gas station in a lawsuit filed Nov. 18 in U.S. District Court in Gulfport. The lawsuit alleges the store on Yacht Club Drive has violated trademark rights and licenses for the comedian's catch phrase and selling merchandise in that name.
Larry the Cable Guy's real name is Daniel Lawrence Whitney. He is president of his merchandising business.
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The Diamondhead store is south of Interstate 10 off Exit 16. Tom Wood of Diamondhead and Marsha Siha of Houston are its business officers, according to filings with the Mississippi Secretary of State's Office.
No date for a court hearing had been set as of Monday, but both parties want a jury trial, according to the lawsuit and the Diamondhead store's counter claim.
The lawsuit says Whitney has been using the catch phrase since at least 2001 and registering his trademark merchandise since at least April 2005. The suit lists 23 trademark registrations for his merchandise.
The lawsuit alleges the Diamondhead store fraudulently obtained its registration by deceiving the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The store applied for a trademark as a convenience store in 2008, began using the name for commercial purposes in June 2009 and opened its store in 2013, the suit says.
The lawsuit says Whitney's business has twice sent the Diamondhead store letters regarding trademark infringements.
Motions were filed with the Secretary of State's Office to dissolve or revoke the Diamondhead store July 1, 2013, and Sept. 16, 2015, but no action apparently was taken.
Whitney wants the store to stop using the catch phrase, deliver all merchandise to his business, destroy materials used to make the trademark and pay court costs. He also wants the store's trademark cancelled and a court order for economic damages.
The lawsuit alleges damages exceed $75,000. Infringement laws allow federal judges to award triple the amount in actual damages.
The convenience store sells assorted merchandise that bears its name.
Whitney's merchandise includes Larry the Cable Guy bobbleheads, frozen meals and potato chips. His business was organized in Florida. Its principal place of business is in Atlanta.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert Walker has set a telephone conference for both parties Jan. 21.