May It Please the Court® A Weblog of Legal News & Observations
Quote of the Day - It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. - Mark Twain

Plenty Of Dogs In This Fight

Dinky the talking Chihuahua can't sport one of those T-shirts that reads: "If you can't run with the Big Dogs, get off of the porch." Previously relegated only to TV commercials hawking burritos, he's now starring in a Michigan courtroom.

Two men, claiming to have created the talking Chichuahua, sued Taco Bell for ownership of the mascot. Plaintiff's attorney Douglas Dozeman stated, "my clients created a licensed character named 'Psycho Chihuahua,' which was then adapted and used by Taco Bell in the ads." Dinky is the name of the actual dog that played the part of the Chichuahua in the ads.

Dozemons's clients won. Big. Now they're the ones on the porch.

But not satisfied with the paltry $30.2M victory highlighted in Justice Bedsworth's weblog, the two men went for the gusto, and ended up with mucho gusto. In post-trial motions, Federal District Court Judge Gordon J. Quist awarded an extra $11.8M in interest on top of the judgment.

Dozeman said: "Sooner or later, Taco Bell is going to run out of issues, and Joe and Tom will finally be able to receive the proper compensation for their intellectual property." Taco Bell Spokeswoman Lauire Bell responded, "We continue to believe that the Chihuahua character was created independently, and we intend to appeal the jury's verdict."

I'm still waiting to hear Dinky's thoughts now that the Psycho Chihuahua is running with the Big Dogs.

Posted by J. Craig Williams on Friday, September 12, 2003


MIPTC Home | View Weblog Archive

Back to top.