Do Not Wear a White Cowboy Hat, Boots & Underwear


Many visitors traveling to Times Square since 2002 have caught a glimpse of the Naked Cowboy®, a/k/a Robert Burck. He sings and officiates weddings (charging $499 and up). He even ran for the Mayor of New York at one point (although he ended up withdrawing from the race). For those of you who have not travelled to the Big Apple, the Naked Cowboy also appears on television in venues ranging from Sunday football pregame shows to “The Apprentice.” Mr. Burck, a savvy businessman, secured a trademark for the Naked Cowboy. He dresses (or undresses) in a white hat, boots and underwear briefs. Mr. Burck also franchises this image and provides training for other would-be Naked Cowboys. With an income estimated at $5,000 an hour from tourist donations alone, and adding to that revenue from souvenirs, franchise fees and appearance fees, the Naked Cowboy brand is valuable. Mr. Burck vigilantly protects his trademark, likeness and brand.

Naked Cowboy, doing business as Naked Cowboy Enterprises, previously sued the Naked Cowgirl. There were allegations that her vulgar hand gestures (i.e., giving the finger) harmed his valuable trademark and image. The parties are currently in settlement discussions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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