Jim Cornette has filed a Federal lawsuit against independent wrestler G-Raver, The Indy Connection, owner William Molnar, and e-commerce site Shopify.
In a report originally reported by Forbes, Cornette filed a lawsuit against all parties following the sale and distribution of a t-shirt depicting Cornette with the words “F*** Jim Cornette.
Honestly shocked by how many people are offended by my Jim Cornette art for @StaySickGRAVER . What is wrong with you people? First you attack comedy, wrestling, and now art is offensive? Is anyone allowed creativity anymore? I’ll draw whatever I want. #jimcornette #graver #gcw pic.twitter.com/RvwjrXqj3p
— Nuclear Heat Graphics (@nuclearheat) September 10, 2019
Cornette is seeking the domain name “fuckjimcornette.com” be transferred to him as well as a The Indy Connection withdraw a trademark filed for the term “Fuck Jim Cornette”
In addition, Jim Cornette is seeking in damages excess of $75,000, as well as lawyer fees, and punitive damages.
The following excerpts are from the court documents filed by Jim Cornette on 12/19 at The United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
On or about August 31, 2019, a fan tweeted Plaintiff Jim Cornette via Twitter a video of a recent “Death Match” between Defendant Graver and another wrestler in which Defendant Graver was injured when a fluorescent tube that had been affixed to a ladder used in the match broke, slicing his arm.
Plaintiff Jim Cornette, a long-time protestor against matches of this nature, re-tweeted the tweet, saying, “That’s a nasty little nick the guy got on his arm there at the end, if fans were lucky they probably stopped the show so everyone could watch this idiot bleed out.”
Defendant Graver replied to Plaintiff Cornette’s tweet, saying, “Hey @TheJimCornette, let me see you at a convention. I’ll spit in your fucking mouth. You’ve done nothing to me. Now you’re an advocate for death?”
Plaintiff Jim Cornette replied to Defendant Graver’s tweet, saying, “No, I treated it as they were both stupid dumb fucks doing something stupid they shouldn’t have been doing and that even a blind man could have seen was going to cause serious injury, all to pretend to be ‘pro wrestlers’ in front of a handful of idiots who like that kinda thing.”
Defendant Graver replied to Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s tweet, saying, “You prob didn’t expect this ‘pro wrestler’ would grab any attention whatsoever right? When you die from old age, I’ll be there to piss all over you. Can’t wait.”
Plaintiff Jim Cornette was made aware of a t-shirt being made, sold and distributed via the e-commerce site, The Indy Connection, Inc. The t-shirt depicted Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s likeness, specifically; his head, with tattoo needles protruding from his forehead, his eyes covered with bloody Xs and his mouth gagged. The words, “Fuck Jim Cornette” were printed around the image. Plaintiff did not consent to the use of his name or image.
Upon discovery of the t-shirt Defendants Shopify and/or Shopify (USA) were notified of the offending t-shirt and it was removed from the web site.
Subsequently, the t-shirt was offered for sale on the web site under the description “Plain Black Tee.“
Another complaint was made to Defendants Shopify and/or Shopify (USA) and the “Plain Black Tee” was removed from the web site.
A different t-shirt began being offered for sale on The Indy Connection web site. This t-shirt depicted Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s likeness, specifically; his head, with tattoo needles protruding from his forehead, his eyes covered with bloody Xs and his mouth gagged. The words, “Mother Fucker” were printed around the image. Plaintiff did not consent to the use of his name or image.
Purchasers can reach the t-shirt by typing www.fuckjimcornette.com and the URL is https://theindyconnection.com/products/back-from-the-dead-tee. The price of the t-shirt is $24.99.
On or about October 8, 2019, Defendant Graver broadcast a tweet promoting the t-shirt: “Get your spooky on over at Fuckjimcornette.com.
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF NAME
Defendant Molnar and Defendant Indy Connection intentionally offered for sale
Defendant Molnar and Defendant Indy Connection intentionally offered for sale t-shirts with Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s likeness and/or name; intentionally applied for a trademark containing Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s name; and, intentionally registered and used a domain name with Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s name.
These Defendants unauthorized use of Plaintiff’s name is likely to cause confusion, to cause mistake, and/or to deceive customers and potential customers of the parties, as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of Defendant’s products and services, or as to some affiliation, connection, or association of Defendant with Plaintiff Jim Cornette.
CONFUSION OF LIKENESS
Plaintiff Jim Cornette has been, and continues to be, irreparably damaged by the violation of this statute, and has no adequate remedy at law. Unless enjoined, Defendants will continue to use Plaintiff’s name, image, and domain name, further injuring Plaintiff and confusing the public. Unless the foregoing alleged actions of Defendants are enjoined, Plaintiff Jim Cornette will suffer injury and damage.
FEDERAL TRADEMARK CYBERPIRACY
Defendants Molnar and Indy Connection’s unauthorized registration and use of the fuckjimcornette.com domain name constitutes cyberpiracy and violates Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s rights under Section 43(d) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d). 75.
Plaintiff’s name and domain name, having been registered since 2008, was distinctive and famous at the time of the registration of the offending domain name by Defendants, which domain name is identical or confusingly similar to Plaintiff’s name and domain name and dilutive of Plaintiff’s name and domain name.
Defendants registeredand/or used (and continue to use) Plaintiff’s name and domain name in commerce and have done so with a bad faith intent to profit from Plaintiff’s famous and distinctive name and domain name.
UNAUTHORIZED USE OF NAME
Defendants Molnar, Indy Connection, Garner, Shopify, and Shopify (USA) used Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s name and/or likeness for commercial and/or advertising purposes.
Plaintiff Jim Cornette’s image and name have commercial value, which Plaintiff has expended time, money, and labor establishing. 88. Plaintiff did not give any Defendant permission to use his image and/or name.
G-Raver tweeted the following on 12/22, in response to the lawsuit.
Just let it be known, I was the guy who didn’t back down from some fucking shit “legend” regardless of the outcome, it’s what it’s worth. I’d lose my ass before I just lay down and sign my mouth away. It’s been fun and I can’t wait for Xmas! #Grover pic.twitter.com/grBAYXewiu
— G-RaVeR (@StaySickGRAVER) December 22, 2019