‘Office Space’ dude with 37 pieces of flair files publishing lawsuit

Most of us know Todd Duffey, not from his blogging contributions to The Daily Meal or his bit acting in television and film, but as the incorrigible waiter with 37 pieces of flair from Mike Judge’s 1999 cubicle satire “Office Space”. Now the 38-year old is suing the franchise that made him a footnote in popular culture.

On Wednesday in New York, Duffey filed a permanent injunction claiming the Perseus Book Group wrongfully used the image of his character in the “Office Space Box of Flair” paperback, a 32-page chotchkie that features Duffey’s face on the book’s covers as well as accompanying buttons. Turns out the man may have a case.

According to The Hollywood Reporter:

In 1998, the actor signed a “Theatrical Motion Picture Day Player Employment Agreement,” and as alleged in Duffey’s complaint, “The Agreement was silent as to the Producer’s right to use the Plaintiff’s photograph for purposes of producing consumer merchandise related to the Film … The Defendants’ use of the Plaintiffs’ photograph is likely to cause confusion, mistake or deception as to: (i) the affiliation, connection, or association of the Plaintiff to the Defendants; and/or (ii) as to the origin, sponsorship, or approval of the Defendants’ goods, services or commercial activities by the Plaintiff.

So now the opposing attorneys get to battle for legal fees and damages in the shady gray areas of the law. Great. May the best corporate drone win. The only thing that boggles me (to which someone may have a very simple answer) is, according to Amazon, the Perseus Book Group first published this title in October 2007. Why did Duffey just now decide to get up in arms?