DURHAM: Family of 'The Duke' sues Duke University over name - WRBL

Family of 'The Duke' sues Duke University over name

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This is the bourbon label submitted as Exhibit A in the lawsuit that could cause confusion. This is the bourbon label submitted as Exhibit A in the lawsuit that could cause confusion.
DURHAM, N.C. -

The family of late actor John Wayne, known as “The Duke”, has sued Duke University over the use of Wayne’s nickname.

The heirs of the cowboy-movie icon filed a lawsuit against the university earlier this month.

The lawsuit states that the family wants to use the name “Duke” to market its bourbon and other alcoholic beverages.

This is not the first time the university has clashed with the Wayne family. In 2005, Duke University filed a motion to stop the family from registering the name.

In March 2013, John Wayne Enterprises filed a trademark application for “Duke John Wayne” for alcoholic beverages, except beers.

The lawsuit state that Duke University claims JWE’s use of “Duke” for marketing is “Likely to cause confusion with the Duke University Marks and intends to sue JWE for trademark infringement.”

According to the lawsuit, Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison in Winterset, Iowa. When Wayne was a boy, his family moved to California where he had a dog named “Duke.” The lawsuit states that people started calling Wayne “Duke” too, a name the actor preferred than his given name of Marion.

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