GULFPORT -- An attorney has asked a federal judge to throw out a subpoena requiring Larry the Cable Guy to give sworn testimony in Diamondhead in a lawsuit and counterclaim over alleged trademark infringements.
Larry the Cable Guy is the stage name of Daniel Lawrence Whitney, the popular blue-collar comedian who uses the catch phrase "Git-R-Done." His real name is used in court records.
Whitney is an officer of Git-R-Done Productions Inc., which is suing the Giterdone C-Store on Yacht Club Drive. The locallly owned convenience store and gas station has filed a counterclaim to the original lawsuit, filed in November in U.S. District Court in Gulfport.
Diamondhead attorney Michael Casano filed notice of the deposition, requiring Whitney to give testimony at 10:30 a.m. April 21 at the Casano Law Firm on Leisure Time Drive, court records show.
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The notice identifies Whitney as president of Git-R-Done Productions and says Whitney will be questioned and his attorneys can cross-examine him. The merchandising business is based in Florida. Its main office is in Atlanta.
Attorneys for Git-R-Done Productions filed a motion to quash the subpoena Monday.
While Whitney is an officer of the merchandising business, he is a not a party to the lawsuit, is not employed in Mississippi and does not regularly conduct business in Mississippi, the motion said, citing rules of court and federal case law.
Whitney has lived in Nebraska since 2010, performed in Mississippi only five times since 2011 and was in Mississippi less than 24 hours each time, according to the motion.
The lawsuit says the merchandising company holds the trademark rights and licenses for the comedian's signature slogan and merchandise marketed in his name or likeness.
The lawsuit says the "Git-R-Done" trademark has been used since at least 2001 in Whitney's entertainment career and on licensed merchandise such as hats, beer, T-shirts, packaged meats and macaroni. The lawsuit lists 23 trademark registrations for Larry the Cable Guy merchandise in the past 11 years.
The convenience store and gas station sells "giterdone" merchandise including cigarette lighters, belt buckles, bottle openers, candy and beer. It is located just south of Interstate 10.
The lawsuit alleges the store fraudulently obtained its registration by deceiving the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when the store applied for a trademark as a convenience store in 2008. The store began using the name for commercial purposes in June 2009 and opened for business in 2013.
Chief Judge Louis Guirola Jr. had dismissed the store's counterclaim in February, writing there was no factual basis on which to state a claim. But he gave the store 14 days to file an amended claim.
The amended claim alleges Git-R-Done Productions does not have a trademark on the catch phrase and has infringed on the mark the convenience store first used to promote local golf tournaments.
Also, the store claims Larry the Cable Guy's comedic antics give a bad impression of the store's "operational excellence and business reputation" and have hurt its business.
Git-R-Done Productions is the senior user of the trademark nationwide and has had no retail business connections that could hurt the convenience store's business, a document filed Monday said.
The document said the store has once again filed a claim on which there is no factual basis.
The lawsuit alleges the store has tried to trick the public into believing it was affiliated with Larry the Cable Guy and also had parked a tow truck out front reminiscent of Mater, Whitney's character in the movie "Cars."