NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Horse racing announcer Dave Johnson, who called Triple Crown races for ABC tv for too many years, on Wednesday sued the makers of Bill Murray’s 2014 movie “St. Vincent” for the use of his signature word, “and down the stretch, they arrive” without permission.
Johnson, 77, a Manhattan resident, accused the film’s distributor Weinstein Co, Chernin Entertainment and Crescendo Productions, and different defendants of infringing his 2012 trademark in the world, one of the most recognizable in American sports activities.
The lawsuit does not call Murray a defendant.
Murray’s character Vincent MacKenna, a grumpy retiree who drank and gambled, used the word “inside the context of a race and in a clean try and imitated” Johnson, the complaint said.
Johnson stated this would probably confuse the public, tarnishing his rights to a word “inextricably related” with him.
“I’ve spent my complete life calling races, and that’s something I wanted to guard,” Johnson said in a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he is attending Saturday’s Louisiana Derby. “It’s manifestly mine. That’s my phrase.”
The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal courtroom seeks unspecified damages, which Johnson stated he might donate to charities related to horse racing, consisting of disabled jockeys.
“St. Vincent” grossed $54.Eight million worldwide, in line with BoxOfficeMojo.Com.
A legal professional for the defendants did not without delay respond to requests for the remark.
“‘And down the stretch, they arrive’ embodies all that is ideal approximately thoroughbred racing,” Johnson’s legal professional Andrew Mollica stated in a telephone interview.
Johnson’s use of the phrase entails emphasizing the words “down” as horses turn into the homestretch of a race.
He advised Reuters that he commenced using the word in the Nineteen Sixties and gave it more of a “rumble” when calling races at Santa Anita Park in California so the crowd could listen to him on its a long time-vintage sound system.
“People started to mention it back to me,” he stated.
The lawsuit references other trademarked signature sports activities terms, which include late baseball broadcaster Harry Caray’s “Holy Cow!”, basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale’s “exquisite child”, and boxing and wrestling announcer Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble!”
Johnson stopped calling the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, and the Belmont Stakes for ABC Television while the races moved to NBC in 2001.
Asked why he no longer sued over “St. Vincent” quicker, Johnson said he became now not a massive movie watcher. “My subsequent-door neighbor informed me approximately it,” he stated.