Lou Ferrigno Files Lawsuit Over Store
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ As ``The Incredible Hulk,″ Lou Ferrigno probably would have ripped off his shirt in anger. Instead, he’s suing his brother over trademark rights to a fitness equipment store.
Ferrigno, who played the green-skinned monster in the 1978-82 TV series, is suing Andrew Ferrigno and his wife, Janie, and their business, Ferrigno Fitness of Greenwich Township, claiming they are unlawfully trading on his name and image.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Trenton, claims the store has a green awning, portions of the interior are green, and one green wall is covered with photos of Ferrigno in bodybuilding poses, as well as in his trademark green makeup for his role as the Hulk.
Ferrigno was a bodybuilder before he starred on the TV show. Bill Bixby played mild-mannered scientist David Banner, who turned into the Hulk whenever he lost his temper.
``This is bullying,″ said Scott Wilhelm, lawyer for the defendants. ``Andrew and his wife have been running their business for over 20 years, and now, for the first time ever, Lou wants to shut them down.″
``Andrew says nothing has happened between them to make his brother spiteful or vengeful,″ Wilhelm said. ``I don’t know what level of income Lou has these days, but Andrew is confident that it still far exceeds his.″
The lawsuit claims the ``defendants deliberately chose a trade name incorporating the Ferrigno name in an effort to profit from the reputation and renown of Lou Ferrigno.″
``On numerous occasions, Lou Ferrigno and members of his family have been contacted or approached by strangers or acquaintances who believe that Ferrigno Fitness is `Lou’s store,‴ the complaint read.
The 53-year-old actor, who lives in Santa Monica, Calif., says in court papers that he has no interest or involvement in the store. His lawyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment Thursday.
The lawsuit also accuses the New Jersey business of cybersquatting by registering the Internet domain name www.ferrignofitness.com. Lou Ferrigno says he has been using that corporate name for his own business ventures.
Andrew Ferrigno and his wife live in Bethlehem, Pa. Wilhelm said his clients intend to fight the lawsuit, whose claims, he said, are ``without merit.″
In recent years, Lou Ferrigno has appeared as himself on the CBS sitcom ``The King of Queens.″
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