Chuck Yeager, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot has filed a lawsuit in California Central District Court against Airbus accusing the defendant of using his name, identity and likeness without authorization to promote one of its helicopters.
According to the lawsuit, Chuck Yeager, a 96-year-old Yeager objected to a June 2017 piece on Airbus’ website about making the Airbus Racer a fast and cost-effective way to fly.
The objected pieced reportedly said “seventy years ago, Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier and Airbus was now trying to break the cost barrier. It cannot be speed at any cost”.
Chuck Yeager reportedly accused Airbus of trademark infringement, deceiving the public to believing that Yeager endorsed the aircraft plus illegal publicity through fraudulent conduct.
Yeager reportedly said that Airbus has previously used an authorized video of his 2008 visit to Airbus without permission.
It will be recalled that Yeager became the first person to break the speed of sound, known as Mach 1, piloting his rocket engine-powered Bell X-1 over southern California on Oct. 14, 1947.
Lincoln Bandlow, Yeager’s lawyer reportedly said that Airbus sells aircraft and they can’t find a more famous and valuable man to affiliate with aircraft than Chuck Yeager.
According to Bandlow, Airbus Helicopters had asked for permission to use his name in press releases, but rejected his demand for more than $1 million and veto power over how it was used.
Yeager is seeking unspecified compensatory, punitive and reputational damages, as well as restitution.
The case is pending.
General Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager (Ret.) et al v. AIRBUS GROUP SE et al
|Judge:||Josephine L Staton|
|Court:||California Central District Court|
|Nature of Suit:||Trademark|
|Case Filed:||September 18, 2019|