American horse racing commentator Dave Johnson, known for his "...and down the stretch they come!" catchphrase has sued Amazon for selling t-shirts featuring the phrase without his permission.
Johnson, the voice of the Kentucky Derby, coined the phrase when broadcasting in the 1960’s. He registered the term as a trademark in 2012.
The lawsuit claimed that the term is as famous as boxing announcer Michael Buffer’s “Let’s get ready to rumble!”, which is also protected by a trademark.
Amazon’s t-shirts feature an image of a jockey riding a thoroughbred horse accompanied with Johnson’s phrase.
According to the lawsuit, which Johnson filed in the US District Court for the Southern District for New York, the t-shirts are “tacky, low quality over-priced” and the product “infringes, damages, blurs, tarnishes, and dilutes the mark and the rights and reputation of the mark’s creator and owner”.
Johnson is seeking injunctive relief against Amazon and the sellers of the t-shirts, as well as an order to recall and destroy all infringing products and treble damages and the profits the sellers obtained from selling the shirts.