John Wayne’s heirs sue Duke University over the name ‘Duke’

(Photo of John Wayne courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

(Photo of John Wayne courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

SANTA ANA, Calif. — John Wayne’s heirs are suing Duke University over the family’s right to market bottles of bourbon branded with the late movie star’s nickname, “Duke.”

According to multiple media reports, a federal lawsuit filed last week in Santa Ana is the most recent installment of a long-running legal battle between the university and California-based John Wayne Enterprises over commercial products featuring the name.

Lawyers for the university have said allowing the family to use the name could cause confusion and “diminish, dilute and tarnish” the value of the name.

The proposed bourbon would feature an image of the late movie star holding a rifle with “Duke” over it in bold letters.

“Duke University does not own the word ‘Duke’ in all contests and purposes,” the family’s lawyers said in the lawsuit. “Duke University seems to think it owns the word ‘Duke’ for all purposes and applications.”

In 2005, Duke University filed a motion to stop the family from registering the name.

John Wayne spent five decades of his life as an actor where he earned the nickname “The Duke” from his fans.

13 comments

  • Chucky

    So maybe they should consider using “The Duke” instead of “Duke”. It might reduce the chance of a drunk confusing the bourbon with the school. LOL

  • stinger90

    Fox 8, what in the heck is wrong with my post? I see people post worst. You’re turning into a lib.
    All I said was California the land of…. and …. and was the dumbest thing I’ve read by far this week.

  • Sandy Jackson

    THE UNVERSITY NEEDS TO GET A GRIP ON REALITY. JOHN WAYNE IS MORE OF AN ICON THAN THE SCHOOL. LEAVE THE DUKE ALONE !!!!!!!

  • jeff

    Ron White said “YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID” I THINK HE’S ONTO SOMETHING” DUKE “U” YOU HAVE A REPLY???,DIDN’T THINK SOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

  • Zombiekiller

    “John Wayne spent five decades of his life as an actor where he earned the nickname “The Duke” from his fans.”

    That is not how he got the nickname The Duke. He was a kid hanging out at the local firehouse with his dog Duke and the firefighters started calling him The Duke. Great article Fox 8!

Comments are closed.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32,376 other followers