butthead astronomer

I read about this lawsuit and had to share.

Plaintiff: Carl Sagan, world-famous astronomer.

Defendant: Apple Computer, Inc.

In 1993 one of the project managers of a personal computer decided to use “Carl Sagan” for the internal name of the project. The name would not be released to the public and was thought to be a token of respect, but when Carl found out about it, he sued, complaining that it was, “an illegal usurption of his name for commercial purposes” and demanded it be changed.

The project manager did as he was asked, changing the code name to BHA (Butt-Head Astronomer). When Sagan learned of the name change, he filed suit again for libel, infliction of emotional distress and several other butt-headed things.

The verdict: Apple won.

In her ruling, the judge eloquently explained that “one does not seriously attack the expertise of a scientist using the undefined phrase ‘butt-head’.”

The beauty of our justice system at work.


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  1. That’s awesome. If only all frivolous lawsuits were so eloquently decided.

    Comment by Cameron on April 2, 2004 @ 8:03 am
  2. Yea for that judge!

    Comment by Renee on April 2, 2004 @ 8:53 am
  3. One down, thousands of lawsuits by prisoners to go.

    Comment by jason on April 2, 2004 @ 9:48 am
  4. Apparently, my uncle was the one who came up with that name!

    Comment by Matthew on February 5, 2005 @ 4:48 pm

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