Naked Cowboy Tells Naked Cowgirl to Back Off

Suzanne Murray

naked cowboyA naked cowgirl is getting the Naked Cowboy's tighty whities in a twist.

The Naked Cowboy is a New York Landmark -- not officially or anything, but you'll usually find Robert Burck in Times Square wearing just briefs, a cowboy hat, and cowboy boots.

Burck plays songs on his cowboy guitar and poses for pictures and signs autographs for tourists who come from all over the world just to see him. He'll even marry couples for a small fee (starting at $499). He's appeared on Law & Order and The Apprentice.

And now a Naked Cowgirl wants in on his action. Sandy Kane (also known as Sandra Brodsky), a 50-something former stripper and comedienne, has been showing up in Times Square wearing a red, white, and blue bikini and cowboy hat.

The Naked Cowboy wants her to stop.

Burck sued Kane in Manhattan federal court yesterday for trademark violation (in 2000 he registered the trademark for the words "Naked Cowboy" and his outfit). He says she's copied his look and sapped his profits. He demands unspecified damages and unfair competition.

The Naked Cowboy wants Kane to sign a "Naked Cowboy Franchise Agreement." Most of his licensed franchisees are required to pay $5,000 a year or $500 a month and go through a screening process.

"We just want to preserve the integrity of the brand," Burck says, "and make sure that anybody that's working in the garb of the naked cowboy is basically a franchisee and should be doing it the correct way."

Two years ago Burck sued Mars Inc., alleging that the blue M&M character, dressed in underpants and boots, violated his trademark.

Kane says she doesn't owe Burck a thing.

Image via rosscrawford1/Flickr

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