Chubby Checker Sues HP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Every once in a while, a story like this comes along.

According to a press release sent out this week, Chubby Checker (born Ernest Evans) is suing HP for half a billion dollars. That's half a billion dollars.

For those of you too young to remember: Chubby, now 71, was a major rock star in the early 60s. One of his songs was responsible for creating a monstrous dance craze with the same name: "The Twist." It's the only song, ever, to reach No. 1 on the charts twice (September, 1960 and January, 1962). He had a number of huge follow-up hits as well.

Consider Checker as being the Psy of his day. Think I'm kidding? Check out Chubby performing it here or what the Twist craze looked like here. See what I mean?

Back to the lawsuit. HP purchased Palm back in April 2010 and closed it down four months later. HP, though, had bought Palm lock, stock and barrel. That means everything -- including all the apps in the Palm app store at the time. Including one that Chubby Checker objects to.

That app was also called "Chubby Checker." The app had nothing to do with music -- or "The Twist" -- or the performer. It was meant to be a cheeky method for measuring adult male personal growth. It had reportedly been downloaded a total of 84 times.

Anyway, Checker has hired a Florida law firm, which announced the lawsuit in a press release.

According to the official explanation:

The lawsuit details the irreparable damage and harm that Hewlett Packard's bad business dealings caused Chubby Checker and his company. The complaint further states that despite numerous attempts to cease the 'app,' Hewlett Packard refused to dismantle the operation and, therefore, continues to perpetuate degrading and derogatory content directly linked to Chubby Checker. The 'app' adversely affects Chubby Checker's brand and value and if allowed to continue, will cause serious damage to the Plaintiff's goodwill and will tarnish his image that he has worked to maintain over the last 50 years. The lawsuit alleges that the egregious and flagrant acts of Hewlett Packard and Palm, Inc., if not stopped immediately, will permit Defendants to enjoy profits to which they are not entitled.

I spoke with HP, which sent me the company's official response:

"The application was removed in September 2012 and is no longer on any Palm or HP hosted web site."

We'll get you more details as they become available.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.