Featureflash /
24 September 2014Trademarks

Rocky run stumbles after trademark threat

A US resident who has organised a 50-kilometre race in homage to one of the ‘Rocky’ films has been hit with a cease-and-desist letter sent by the film’s producers.

Rebecca Schaefer has been told her ‘Rocky 50k Fat Ass Run’ infringes trademarks belonging to film studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

The letter demands removal of any reference to the boxer and bars dissemination of any material related to Rocky.

The Rocky films, the first of which was released in 1976, have spawned several sequels and star Sylvester Stallone as boxer Rocky Balboa.

Schaefer’s run, which made its debut last year, was inspired by journalist Dan McQuade’s attempts to figure out how far Rocky had run for a training session seen in the second film of the franchise.

She then set about organising the Philadelphia-based race, which totalled just shy of 31 miles (50 kilometres).

Although the first race was a huge success, MGM has waded in around two months before the second race is due to take place on December 6.

In the letter, sent on September 16, the studio said: “please be advised that failure to do comply [by removing Rocky references] will cause MGM to take appropriate legal action.”

Coincidentally, the demand comes shortly after a new Rocky Balboa Run has debuted.

The run is licenced by MGM and has been organised by Chicago-based company Cerulean Sports Group.

Schaefer told McQuade, a writer for Philadelphia Magazine, that she plans to agree to MGM’s name-change demand, but will not cancel the run.

“I have some ideas going around in my head [for a new name], but I think it would be really fun to get everyone involved, so I figured why not go with it on Facebook,” she said.

MGM did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

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