Originally Posted by Wendall Wagner
It appears that Babe Ruth (and later his estate) never tried to get anything out of the company that made the Baby Ruth candy bar (Curtiss, then Nabisco, then NestlÚ) until 1995. It may be that the relevant laws weren't used much back then. In 1995 the Ruth estate came to an agreement with NestlÚ
Actually, per http://nytimes.com/2006/06/06/bu...0800.html?_r=1
, it sounds like Ruth got hosed out of a lot of money back in his own time.
Babe Ruth might not be snickering about all this.
In 1926, the George H. Ruth Candy Company sought to register with the United States Patent and Trademark Office its own trademark confection: "Ruth's Home Run Bar" and "Babe Ruth's Own Candy." The commissioner of patents spurned the claim saying "Babe" was too close to "Baby," particularly as it related to "Ruth."
The Court of Customs and Patent Appeals upheld the ruling in 1931, saying that there would be confusion if "Babe" and "Baby" competed for the same sweet-tooth market. The court said it was evident that Ruth (George Herman, that is) was trying to capitalize on his own nickname, at a time when sales of Baby Ruths were as high as $1 million a month.
So while Ruth famously earned more than President Hoover, Baby Ruth did a lot better than the Babe.
I can't really think of something similarly tangible that Yogi Berra would have claimed from Yogi Bear. If the bear, besides having a similar name, was mocking him, or acting like him, then Berra is being deprived of his likeness. But, given the lack of similarities between the two, besides the name, that doesn't sound plausible.