You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Here’s Johnny’ toilet ad scrubbed

Court rules against Michigan salesman

Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board denied Earl J. Braxton’s efforts, noting that Carson had successfully brought civil action against him when he was living.

The appeal board said Carson’s “right to publicity survived his death,” and that Braxton’s business, Toilets.com, is located in a state — Michigan — with a common law post-mortem right of publicity. The decision essentially confirms that the phrase is so linked to Carson that its commercial exploitation can be prevented even after his death.

The law firm that repped Carson when he was alive, Pattishall, McAuliffe, Newbury, Hilliard & Geraldson in Chicago, with the case going to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, repped his estate and foundation.

More TV

  • 'Grey's Anatomy' Renewed for Season 15

    'Grey's Anatomy' Renewed for Season 15 at ABC

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

  • Jane The Virgin -- "Chapter Eighty-One"

    'Jane the Virgin' Boss on Season 4 Finale: 'I Knew It Would Be the Ultimate Surprise'

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

  • WGA Writers Contract Talks

    Writers Guild Seeks to Reshape Talent Agency Business in Proposed Deal

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

  • charlie corwin imgine entertainment

    Charlie Corwin Exits Imagine CEO Post

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    TV and Film Producer Susan Reiner Dies at 69

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

  • No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No

    10 Works That Influenced 'Westworld'

    Johnny Carson may have passed away five years ago, but his estate is vigilant about making sure his post-life career doesn’t go down the toilet. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied a toilet salesman a registration to trademark the phrase “Here’s Johnny” in association with portable toilets. Its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content