NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. Horse racing announcer Dave Johnson, who referred to as Triple Crown races for ABC television for two a long time, on Wednesday sued the makers of Bill Murray’s 2014 movie “St. Vincent” for the usage of his signature phrase “and down the stretch they arrive” without permission.
Johnson, 77, a Manhattan resident, accused the movie’s distributor Weinstein Co, the producers Chernin Entertainment and Crescendo Productions and other defendants of infringing his 2012 trademark within the phrase, one of the most recognizable in American sports activities. The lawsuit does no longer call Murray as a defendant. Murray’s individual Vincent MacKenna, a grumpy retiree who drank and gambled, used the phrase “in the context of a race and in a clear try and imitate” Johnson, the criticism started. Johnson stated this would probably confuse the public, tarnishing his rights to a word “inextricably related” with him. “I’ve spent my whole lifestyles calling races, and that’s something I wanted to guard,” Johnson stated in a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he is attending Saturday’s, Louisiana Derby. “It’s glaringly mine. That’s my phrase.” The lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court seeks unspecified damages, which Johnson stated he would donate to charities related to horse racing, together with for disabled jockeys.
“St. Vincent” grossed $ fifty-four.Eight million international, in line with BoxOfficeMojo.Com. A legal professional for the defendants did now not immediately respond to requests for comment. “‘And down the stretch, they arrive’ embodies all that is good about thoroughbred racing,” Johnson’s lawyer Andrew Mollica stated in a telephone interview. Johnson’s use of the phrase includes emphasizing the phrase “down” as horses turn into the homestretch of a race. He told Reuters that he commenced using the phrase within the 1960s, and gave it extra of a “rumble” while calling races at Santa Anita Park in California so the group may want to pay attention him on its a long time-vintage sound system. “People began to mention it lower back to me,” he stated.
The lawsuit references other trademarked signature sports terms, consisting of overdue baseball broadcaster Harry Caray’s “Holy Cow!”, basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale’s “incredible infant” and boxing and wrestling announcer Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get equipped to rumble!” Johnson stopped calling the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes for ABC Television when the races moved to NBC in 2001. Asked why he did not sue over “St. Vincent” quicker, Johnson stated he became not a big movie watcher. “My subsequent-door neighbor told me about it,” he stated.