Copyright laws have no place in Matlock, the town with the similar name to where Andy Griffith was sheriff in his 1960s television show, if you were Andy Griffith, the actor.
A Wisconsin man who changed his name to Andy Griffith in order to run for sheriff has won a lawsuit taken by Andy Griffith, actor, who has said there was no breach of copyright or trademark in the candidate’s actions.
William Harold Fenrick changed his name to the famous figure from the 1960s television show.
U.S. District Judge John Shabaz made his ruling based on the fact that Fenrick did not use his “name” in a commercial transaction, but rather in the course of his political campaign.
Voters did not believe the actor was running or sponsoring the candidate, Shabaz added, even though they probably connected the name to the actor.
Actor Andy Samuel Griffith, 80, now lives in North Carolina, where he owns Mayberry Enterprises, which controls the intellectual property rights to his name and characters.