Veteran skateboarder Alan "Ollie" Gelfand has sued Disney Interactive, Sega and various skateboard-related companies over what he claims to be trademark infringement of his nickname, and is seeking over $20 million in damages.
The ollie is the commonly used name for an aerial skateboarding trick, invented by Gelfand in 1978 and now the basis for a whole range of related skateboarding moves. According to reports in the Miami Herald, the lawsuit states that the use of the word without Gelfand’s permission has resulted in a loss of earnings as he is unable to profit from products featuring the name.
The suite names only companies, not individual products, but Sega’s involvement is likely due to the Ollie King arcade game, while Disney is presumably named because of the use of the word in Disney’s Extreme Skate Adventure, which is based on the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater game engine and also features an area called Olliewood – the same name as a skate park owned by Gelfand. However, Sega lawyers, at least, are “confident that Mr Gelfand does not have a valid legal basis for suing Sega", according to remarks obtained by the Herald.
Gelfand has registered his name and it is licensed on some skateboarding products, although he himself is not widely known amongst younger skateboarding fans.