Sportscaster Dave Johnson Files His 3rd Lawsuit In A Year Over Horse Racing Phrase
Sportscaster Dave Johnson, publicly known for his “And down the stretch they come!” phrase, is on a lawsuit filing rampage. The most recent Complaint that Johnson has filed is against Amazon for its alleged sale of a t-shirt displaying an image of a jockey riding a thoroughbred horse with the caption, “DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME.”
It is the third lawsuit that Johnson has filed in roughly a year.
Johnson may have an uphill battle against Amazon when it comes to a claim of trademark infringement. It does not appear that Amazon was the creator or vendor for the t-shirt at issue, but merely a third party service provider serving as a conduit for the sale of the t-shirt to consumers. As such, it is impossible for a company like Amazon to patrol and control the sale of every item on its platform; it needs to be informed of the infringement and given an opportunity to inspect before, potentially, taking down the infringing content.
Here, Johnson says that he tried, through his legal counsel, to inform Amazon of the infringement and cause the service provider to take down the material. His counsel sent a letter, on April 1, to Amazon Digital Services LLC, explaining Johnson’s trademark ownership and rights and demand for a monetary settlement. The Complaint indicates that no action was taken by Amazon.
In August 2018, Johnson sued video game developers Tilting Point Media, LLC and Third Time, Inc. for a violation of his publicity rights. He claimed that they improperly used his publicity rights to advertise their video game, “Horce Racing Manager 2018.”
In March 2019, Johnson fired off another lawsuit. This time, he sued a variety of defendants, including The Weinstein Company, for using his trademarked phrase, which he said has been exploited for commercial gain for decades without his consent. Some of that commercial gain allegedly came from selling merchandise that bears his trademarked signature phrase that is once again at issue in the most recent lawsuit initiated by Johnson.
Johnson’s most recently filed lawsuit was processed on April 30 in the Southern District of New York. Amazon has yet to formally respond to the Complaint.