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Famous Chicken, Barney End Fight

July 9, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ A legal tug-of-war between Barney the purple dinosaur and the Famous San Diego Chicken may have finally come to an end.

A panel of three federal judges has upheld the dismissal of a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Barney’s owners, Lyons Partnership LP, against Ted Giannoulas, who performs comedy skits at sporting events as the Famous San Diego Chicken.

Lyons objected to a Giannoulas skit in which the chicken pretended to beat up a purple dinosaur.

Barney’s people, who sought up to $100,000 in damages, claimed the performance was a trademark infringement because the dinosaur costume used in the act resembled the TV Barney.

The lawsuit was dismissed last year, with a judge saying the Chicken’s routine was clearly a parody. The three-judge appeals panel unanimously rejected Lyons’ appeal.

Lyons was also ordered to pay Giannoulas’ legal fees. His attorney said Thursday they amount to about $180,000.

A spokeswoman for the partnership said the company has not decided whether to appeal to the Supreme Court.

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