The comedian best known for making an online video with snarky commentary about honey badgers has won an appeals court victory that could put two companies on trial for allegedly using his catchphrases on greeting cards without permission.
You may remember the video, uploaded to YouTube around 2011, which launched its narrator "Randall" on his own successful YouTube Channel after providing commentary on a nature documentary about honey badgers. It has since garnered millions of views.
Watch the video here. Note: Language may be offensive to some.
The 9th Circuit Court in California has ordered that Christopher Gordon, who sometimes goes by the name "Randall" on social media, be granted a new chance at a civil trial against companies he claims are using his honey badger success for their own good. A lower court initially dismissed his lawsuit for failing to meet a legal standard for trademark infringement.
The 9th Circuit said Tuesday the lower court misapplied the law, and like the honey badger who goes into "fierce battles" with other animals, Gordon can now begin his legal fight anew.
Gordon has filed a suit against the Papyrus stationery company, which sold the snarky cards in Target and Walmart stores around the United States. He's also filed against Drape Creative, the company in Missouri that created the cards.
An example of some of the cards, according to the complaint:
- The fronts of two "Election Cards" showed a picture of a honey badger wearing a patriotic hat and stated "The Election's Coming." The inside of one card said "Me and Honey Badger don't give a $#%@! Happy Birthday," and the inside of the other said "Honey Badger and me just don't care. Happy Birthday."
- The fronts of two "Birthday Cards" featured different pictures of a honey badger and stated either "It's Your Birthday!" or "Honey Badger Heard It's Your Birthday." The inside of both cards said "Honey Badger Don't Give a S---."
- The fronts of two "Halloween Cards" showed a picture of a honey badger next to a jack-o-lantern and stated "Halloween is Here." The inside of the cards said either "Honey Badger don't give a $#*%!" or "Honey Badger don't give a s---."
- A "Critter Card" employed a Twitter-style format showing a series of messages from "Honey Badger@don'tgiveas---." The inside said "Your Birthday's here. . . I give a s---."
Drape claimed in legal filings that the creator of the card had never seen or heard about the honey badger viral videos when the cards were created, and the owner, "couldn’t remember" where the idea for the honey badger catchphrases came from.