So, apparently the Duke’s family has decided to sue Duke University over the rights to produce of whiskey. I understand that Duke University wants to protect its name and image, and I understand that the Duke’s family is trying to use John Wayne’s name and image to make some extra cash. Both the university and the family make good points, and this case actually taught me something. I didn’t know Duke University became Duke University in 1924. Which also means that John Wayne’s family’s argument that they may have the rights to “The Duke” that supersedes the universities claims. Proving it another matter.
I also firmly believe that if the whisky is named after John Wayne, and carries his image, that it will not actually have any affect on the university at all. I wonder how Duke University will actually prove that it would. I know I am smart enough to know that The Duke and Duke U. have nothing in common, and I know I can keep them separate. If I saw a tee shirt with John Wayne’s image and “The Duke” in lettering I wouldn’t think, “How low will Duke U. stoop?”
One would also think that with the fame that The Duke has (or had) the university wouldn’t mind some free advertising.
Maybe I am giving the American population too much credit. Maybe it’s been so long since The Duke has been in films that people will mistake The Duke and Duke U. Maybe they will think that the university is producing whiskey, which some students probably are right under the schools nose.
Of course, it all comes down to money. A School trying to protect it’s image (which is in no danger) and a family trying to make money off the Duke’s name, since they can’t make a living on their own name.