WWE’s legal team has been on a terror as of late by going after anyone and everyone they think might infringe on their copyrights and trademarks, most especially ones concerning ECW. Here are some of the people they have threatened with letters just recently.
Mark LoMonica is forbidden from using the names “Bubba”, “Buh-Buh”, “Bubba Ray Dudley” or “Buh-Buh Ray Dudley” on independent shows and appearances as they caught a company using the name “Bubba” on advertising for a recent New York indie show and then they sent him and the indy promotion cease and desist letters to stop him from using that name or any name similar to his old name for that matter. Devon Hughes cannot use the name “D-Von” or “D-Von Dudley”, although they can’t stop him from using the name “Devon” as that’s his real name. And of course, they can’t use or be referred to as “The Dudleys”, “The Dudleyz”, “The Dudley Boys”, or “Dudley Boyz” period.
WWE is also claiming rights to their catchphrases and costumes. They can’t wear camouflauge or wrestle wearing glasses. WWE is also not allowing the term “get the tables” be used in advertising for them as a press release was pulled with new phrasing as WWE wouldn’t allow the NY indie group to use the term, “get the tables.” There is also a possibility that WWE will claim the terms “3-D” and “D-Von, Get the tables”, although they can’t ban them from using the manuever. WWE is claiming broad rights to everything associated with The Dudley Boyz gimmick.
Hughes and LoMonica have talked about fighting WWE legally because they left ECW with the idea that they owned the rights to their names and gimmick, but it could end up being a costly fight which is why they might not challenge WWE in court. The former Dudleyz are currently brainstorming a new gimmick for the team and they will let TNA know what the gimmick is after they trademark it themselves.
The WWE legal team has sent a letter to BigVanVader.com, saying that Leon White (Vader) has given them the right to legal use the name. They want the site owner to transfer the domain to them, despite the fact that he runs it as a fan site and has done so at a financial loss, because it’s now their property.
WWE have sent a cease and desist letter to Peter Polaco, aka Justin Credible. Apparently, he can no longer use the “Justin Credible” name on wrestling shows anymore.
Johnny Ace recently informed Pete Gruner (Billy Kidman) that he not use the name “Billy Kidman” or “Kidman” on the independent scene when his 90-day no-compete clause expires next month.
The WWE legal team informed the webmaster of Spike Dudley’s official website, SpikeDudley.net, that they can no longer use photos of him taken during his WWE tenure on his site. The WWE legal team says it constitutes copyright infringement and threatened him with a $150,000 damage case per photo. Some official WWE photos are still up on the site as of this post, but I’d imagine they’ll be taken down sooner rather than later.
Also, the WWE legal team is currently looking at the folks who put together the “Hardcore Homecoming” shows for any potential legal hole they can nail them with. There’s nothing specific yet, but WWE is claiming that the shows were infringing on WWE’s trademarks and intellectual properties.
And in one last bit of legal news, I have actually been contacted myself by the WWE legal department who have told me that I must remove any images on this website dealing with WWE. You would think they’d have better things to do but apparently not.