Now See Here, Pilgrim: Wayne’s Estate Sues Over Picture
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) _ The estate of actor John Wayne is trying to track down a mail-order firm that has been using the Duke’s likeness on its belt buckles, jackknives, and other goods.
In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Wayne Enterprises of California is seeking to prevent The Olde New England Mint Co. from selling goods with Wayne’s likeness. It also seeks restitution and $1 million in damages.
Attorney William F. Dow III of New Haven, representing Wayne’s estate, is trying to locate the company owner, Joseph W. England, to serve papers in the suit.
The company operates from a post office box in Wilton, but neither it nor England can be found, Dow said in court papers. He did not return telephone calls Tuesday from the Associated Press.
The lawsuit contends that under an agreement executed by Wayne before his death in 1979, Wayne Enterprises has exclusive commerical rights to exploit the actor’s name and likeness.