Annoying Waiter Guy From ‘Office Space’ Can’t Stop People From Using His Flair

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Remember that flair dude from Office Space? Remember what a whiny little jerkbaby he was in the movie?

Kind of not an act! The actor, Todd Duffey, sued over his image being used to sell an Office Space book, which might have been successful except that he’d signed away all his rights long ago.

Duffey felt his image had been unjustly used to sell a spin-off product from the movie: the Office Space Box of Flair,which contained a small book about the movie along with “fifteen flair buttons printed with fun sayings and designs.” He filed suit against 20th Century Fox last year, seeking damages, attorney’s fees and “destruction of the allegedly illegal flair” that featured his photograph.

Unfortunately for Duffey, when he agreed to his “Office Space” role, he signed a “Day Player Agreement” with the movie’s production company, which granted the firm “all rights throughout the universe” (yes, that is the legal usage) to his performance, “including the right to use pictures from his performance for commercial purposes[.]”

The best part of this story by far has to be the fact the court was forced to explain Brian and flair and Office Space in the most stilted court-sounding language imaginable.

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This is a case about the sale of merchandise relating to the movie Office Space, a 1999 cult classic about the soul-crushing experience of working under incompetent management.

How happy do you think the judge’s clerk was to spend time figuring out how to explain Office Space? Do you think the original draft of the opinion had references to TPS reports?

Or maybe something about a stapler?

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The court contented itself with describing the Box of Flair itself, a thing you probably would have bought for a coworker 15 years ago.

The Box of Flair contains fifteen pieces of flair, one of which features an image of Duffey performing as Chotchkie’s Waiter. Duffey is wearing a Chotchkie’s uniform and thirty- seven pieces of flair, enthusiastically pointing off-camera with both hands. The box also includes a booklet describing each piece of flair. The description of the piece of flair featuring Duffey’s image states that “Brian is the über-cheerful waiter at Chotchkie’s who has no problem expressing himself,” and suggests that wearing this piece of flair is appropriate if you wish to communicate that “[y]ou have been completely brainwashed by the work training video.” The exterior of the Box of Flair itself is covered with a collage of the pieces of flair.

The court also took pains to footnote this groundbreaking bit of legal analysis and note that fifteen pieces of flair is the minimum acceptable amount of flair. We have no doubt this was a key part of the holding.

Maybe Todd Duffey can resurrect his career by appearing in full flair at Office Space re-enactor conferences? Oh wait. They don’t have those. Right? Please tell us there is no such thing. Duffey, you are probably shit out of luck. Hopefully you at least got a complimentary stapler and a flair book out of the deal.

[Hollywood Reporter/Quartz/Duffey v. Twentieth Century Fox]

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