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Who the hell would fight over a Tommy Tutone song?

tommyTutone.jpgIf the name Tommy Tutone brings anything to your mind at all (and you’re entirely forgiven is you see that name and simply ask “za?”), it surely brings to mind Jenny and her phone number. 1982’s hit “867-5309/Jenny” is one of the quintessential 80’s songs, still showing up on radio “flashback weekends” and the new compilation CDs that seem to come out bi-weekly. Well, that magical phone number has now found its way into a trademark lawsuit.

A Rhode Island plumbing company, Gem Plumbing & Heating, trademarked the phone number two years ago, and began using it in its various local advertisements (which included TV and radio ads spoofing the original song). However, Clockwork Home Services has also been using that 867-5309 (the toll-free version) as its national phone number, which led Gem and Clockwork into a trademark infringement lawsuit.

The first victory in that lawsuit has now come down Gem’s way, as a federal judge ruled that Clockwork could no longer use the number in the New England area. Gem’s president is obviously pleased:

People can’t get the number out of their heads. So if they ever have a plumbing problem, they think of the number, and they think of our company without having to go to the phone book - and that instant recall is a big deal for us.

Tommy Tutone himself, meanwhile, isn’t happy about any of this, and he’d rather neither company used his special little number:

“It’s ridiculous,” said [Tutone], who is working on a new album. “If I wanted to get into it, I could probably take the number away from both of them.”

Well, I’m not so sure about that Tommy. However, what I find more ridiculous is that he’s working on a new album. Seriously? Unless one of the tracks is “Son of 867-5309,” I suspect that interest will be rather, uhm, nonexistent.

| Comments (1)


The greatest value of these little song disputes to tommy tutone is that he gets to get his name in the press.

Dude...the man is 60+. The song was never that good man. Just a catchy number. Wasn't that much to build a career over in the first place let alone stage a comeback.

New album???? Wonder what Britney's doin'?